Absenteeism blamed for lengthy security lineup at airport

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Heavier volume of travellers reported with long weekend looming

The lineup from the pre-boarding screening area reportedly extended all the way back to the check-in area at St. John’s International Airport early Friday morning.

By Andrew Robinson

The Telegram

A long lineup Friday morning stretching from the pre-boarding screening area all the way to the check-in counters at St. John’s International Airport was the result of “higher than anticipated absenteeism,” according to a security official.

The lineup extended all the way down the stairs leading up to the screening area and back to the check-in area, as highlighted in a photo Newfoundland actor and comedian Mark Critch posted to Twitter.

Michael Drake, director of service delivery for Securitas Transport Aviation Security Ltd. in Newfoundland and Labrador, said the absenteeism issue’s impact on the lineup was exacerbated by the fact there were a lot of people catching flights out of St. John’s early Friday morning to take advantage of the Labour Day weekend.

“As I understand it from the air carriers, we had moderate delays of three and four minutes for four flights this morning, so it wasn’t excessive delays on the part of the carriers,” he said.

Drake said security screening delays will not be an issue for the remainder of the weekend. The peak morning-period for pre-boarding screening at the St. John’s airport lasts from approximately 5 a.m. to 7:30 a.m., according to Drake.

A spokeswoman for the airport authority told The Telegram later that morning there were no longer any issues with getting through security in a timely fashion. She said travellers departing from St. John’s would not need to arrive earlier than planned in order to catch their flights.

“No one needs to come to the airport any earlier than they would on a normal day,” said the spokeswoman.

The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority is responsible for contracting Securitas Transport Aviation Security to handle pre-boarding screening duties at airports in Newfoundland and Labrador, according to the spokeswoman.


Twitter: @TeleAndrew

Organizations: Securitas Transport, International Airport, Canadian Air Transport Security Authority

Geographic location: Newfoundland and Labrador

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