Budget aims for a smoother passenger experience, but 'devil is in the details'

Smoother airport screening

The federal government has air travel on its radar after laying out plans in its budget to speed up airport security screening and reduce flight delays.

Tabled Tuesday by the Liberals after a year of travel turmoil, the budget promises $1.8 billion over five years for the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority to improve passenger screening and strengthen security measures at airports.

It also proposes a new rule requiring airlines and airports to share and report data as a way to cut delays and bolster co-ordination within the industry.

Monette Pasher, head of the Canadian Airports Council, says it is encouraged by what she called "incremental" steps to help the sector and improve the passenger experience.

However, Sylvie De Bellefeuille, a lawyer with the advocacy group Option consommateurs, says "the devil is in the details" on data sharing, including the degree of public access and timely reporting.

The budget measures come after Transport Minister Omar Alghabra pledged to overhaul the country's passenger rights charter in January following chaotic travel seasons over the summer and winter holidays brought on by soaring demand and poor weather.

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