Toronto Pearson International Airport to limit flights during peak travel times

Toronto Pearson International Airport is set to limit the number of flights that can land and take off at peak travel times in an effort to improve delays.

In a statement sent to Global News, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, said the move was part of a series of measures ahead of March break and the summer travel season.

“These include hard limits on the number of commercial flights that can arrive or depart in any given hour, along with restrictions on business/general aviation flights,” a spokesperson said in a statement.

“Additionally, measures have been put in place to limit the number of passengers who can arrive internationally, or travel to the United States through each terminal, during a given hour,” the statement said.

It is not yet clear what the numbers will be limited to or how it will affect individual airlines and passengers, including those with already booked tickets.

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The GTAA also said it has brought in an outside firm to do a “health check of the baggage system.” The inspection will include interviews and on-site assessment and is scheduled to be completed by spring.

The change comes after a difficult year for the airport, with a series of problems around delays, cancellations and baggage.

In early summer, as flight delays and cancellations plagued the airport, a former Air Canada executive told Global News the Canadian government was caught “flat-footed” by a surge in travel demand, compounding delays.

“The root cause of that is very poor preparation,” he said. “You have government agencies that are completely unprepared for what everybody knew.”

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Data through tracking websites such as Flight Aware in the summer suggested the problem was particularly bad in Toronto.

For one week in July, Toronto Pearson saw 44 percent of flights arrive and depart on time, up from an average of 35 percent over the previous four weeks, and far better than the 20 to 25 percent it saw in the early parts. of the summer.

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In September, a survey found that Pearson was among the lowest airports in North America for customer satisfaction.

The JD Power airport satisfaction survey found Pearson ranked 16 out of 20 in the mega airports category, which includes airports that see more than 33 million passengers a year.

The ranking was based on a 1,000-point scale where Pearson received a score of 755, down 25 points from last year and 14 points below the average rating for major airports.

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In the autumn, the airport’s record improved. The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority reported that 89 percent of passengers cleared security in less than 15 minutes during the week of October 10 to 17, 2022, for example.

In November, Pearson announced a new program, YYZ Express, which allows some passengers to order the security machine in advance.

— with files from The Canadian Press

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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