GTAA CEO Provides Update On Toronto Pearson Operations

In an update on operational progress at Toronto Pearson International Airport, the president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), Deborah Flint said: “Thanks to strong collaboration from partners, we’re seeing measurable improvements in flight delays, cancellations, baggage delivery and wait times. The aviation system worldwide is facing a perfect storm as it strives to improve operations in the aftermath of COVID-19. But the industry is rebounding, and the metrics we are sharing today show how working with our partners is yielding results.”

The GTAA’s goal is to smooth the journey through Pearson so that passengers can reach their destinations with a minimum of disruption.

While acknowledging the difficulties faced this summer, Flint said the GTAA is focussing on two key operational areas: passenger experience and digital tools.

In outlining its plans in these areas, it’s noted that the responsibility for the passenger journey is shared and, in this respect, the GTAA has collaborated with airlines, government and other partners on technological advancements, hiring and passenger education. It has also worked collaboratively with its partners on voluntary schedule reductions.

As a result, Toronto Pearson is now seeing improvements across several key performance metrics, which it expects to continue or accelerate into the fall:

Security screening

  • The most recent data from the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) indicates that 82% of passengers last week cleared security in less than 15 minutes; this is a one percentage point increase over the rolling average for the previous four weeks.

Airline on-time performance

  • Last week, across the airport, 44% of all flights were on time, versus a 35% average for the four previous weeks.

International arrivals

  • At times, the airport is forced to hold passengers on their plane to make room in the customs hall. This happened 19 times last week, an improvement from a four-week rolling average of 60 plane holds per week.

Baggage delivery

  • Baggage delivery is managed by the airlines, but Toronto Pearson has made it an ongoing focus for collaborative improvement. For domestic travel, the average wait time for bags to arrive at the carousel is now 24 minutes, a three-minute improvement over the four-week average. The same metric also improved by three minutes for international bags, and by four minutes for transborder bags.

Digital tools

  • To put power back in passengers’ hands and help them be active enablers of a smoother experience, the GTAA is committed to providing more tools to give insight into what to expect, including interactive infographics; a peak times dashboard with information on how busy each terminal is based on historical information from the past two weeks; and an at-a-glance resource that will be updated weekly with many of the data points Flint discussed in her briefing.
  • Flint will host regular briefings at the airport where she and her team will provide a status update on operational progress.

The progress made in recent weeks shows that this summer has been a transitionary period made particularly challenging by the length of time the Canadian aviation sector was shut down.

The GTAA is committed to making systematic changes to the way passengers move through the airport and across borders by studying global best practices and working with industry partners and the federal government to champion further changes so that Toronto Pearson continues to be a global leader in connecting people and businesses.

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