It is all being done with an eye to making air travel more pleasant for everyone and to capture a bigger share of the growing international traveller market.

As the old adage goes, “time is money.” Maintaining and improving a free flow of travellers through these potential choke points at our nation’s airports does not just make for a better travel experience, it is good business.

"Air travel continues to grow acrossall market segments, but some of the biggest growth has come ininternational travel."

Shorter wait times make for easier connections through airports and help keep Canada competitive as a world hub for air travel. On shorter trips, it also helps tip the balance in favour of aviation when travellers are trying to decide whether to fly or drive.

Save time: skip the line

To this end, airports have worked with partners to make the Canada-U.S. trusted traveller program Nexus more valuable to its members through the addition of an expedited screening lane at large airports and an increasing number of small airports. This now has been extended to some U.S. airports for Canadian Nexus members.

Before the border, we support efforts of tourism partners to improve access to Canada for visitors from countries from which Canada requires visas. At the air border, the Nexus program has been supplemented by new automated border kiosks at Vancouver and Montréal Trudeau airports — with program expansion to other airports in the works.

With this program in place, Canadian residents arriving internationally avoid the customs booths in favour of automated kiosks, significantly cutting down wait times after a long international flight.

Enhancing the Canadian economy

Many other efforts are underway, behind the scenes, to improve traffic flow to, from and through Canada’s airports. There is tremendous upside for Canada to keep working in this area.

Air travel continues to grow across all market segments, but some of the biggest growth has come in international travel. According to the World Tourism Organization, a United Nations agency, international travel continues to show resilience despite world financial concerns.

International arrivals are forecast to exceed one billion by the end of 2012. This includes particularly strong growth from emerging markets like Brazil and China.

Capturing Canada’s fair share of this growing international market is good for Canada’s tourism sector — responsible for some 1.7 million Canadian jobs — and the Canadian economy. The increased domestic and international connectivity that will result will open up markets and improve access for Canadian business travellers as well.