Fredericton International Airport takes steps to ease long lineups caused by outdated infrastructure

Passengers line up at the Fredericton International AirportIn an effort to improve efficiency and reduce passenger frustration, the Fredericton International Airport Authority (FIAA) has partnered with CATSA, the organization which handles security screening at all Canadian airports, to accelerate the installation of a second security line.

The Fredericton International Airport has long been known as a friendly and efficient airport, but long lineups over the past year have placed a strain on passengers and airport staff.

“CATSA have done a tremendous job of improving efficiency without sacrificing safety, and we appreciate their partnership in working with us to implement these improvements,” says FIAA president and CEO, Johanne Gallant.

With the terminal operating 75% beyond capacity, adding a second security line in the existing space is a band-aid fix, but it will help reduce wait times while the FIAA works towards funding for the terminal expansion.

Although this change will enable passengers to be screened more quickly and should reduce lineups, the additional equipment required will mean that the departures lounge, already at capacity during peak times, will need to be reconfigured. Amenities such as the business centre will likely need to be eliminated to accommodate relocated seating.

Appropriate space for a second line is part of the terminal expansion and renovation plans proposed by the airport authority. While those plans have been shovel-ready since the end of 2015, and the airport authority continues to work with the federal and provincial governments to secure funding for the terminal expansion, it has become clear over the past year that interim measures need to be taken to reduce airline delays and passenger frustration.

Construction work will begin mid-November and there should be minimal impact to travellers during construction. The second line is expected to be operational in February 2017.

The Fredericton International Airport serves 350,000 passengers annually and offers direct daily service to the major hubs of Toronto, Montreal, Ottawa, and Halifax, along with seasonal service to Cancun, Varadero, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, and Holguin. A major employer in the region, the airport employs 269 people on site. By 2030, the airport will contribute $41.5-million in GDP, generate 1,015 jobs in New Brunswick, and serve 500,000 passengers annually.