Toronto Pearson International Airport
Lester B. Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ, ICAO: CYYZ), branded as Toronto Pearson International Airport and simply known as Pearson Airport or Pearson, is the primary international airport serving Toronto, its metropolitan area, and surrounding region known as the Golden Horseshoe in the province of Ontario, Canada. It is the largest and busiest airport in Canada, the second-busiest international air passenger gateway in the Americas, and the 31st-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic, handling 49.5 million passengers in 2018. The airport is named in honour of Lester B. Pearson, Nobel Peace Prize laureate and 14th Prime Minister of Canada.
Lester B. Pearson International Airport
Aéroport international Lester B. Pearson
|Operator||Greater Toronto Airports Authority|
|Location||Mississauga, Ontario, Canada|
|Focus city for|
|Time zone||EST (UTC−05:00)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC−04:00)|
|Elevation AMSL||569 ft / 173 m|
FAA airport diagram from 2004
Toronto Pearson is located 22.5 kilometres (14.0 mi) northwest of Downtown Toronto, with the majority of the airport situated in the city of Mississauga, and a small portion of the airfield extending into Toronto's western district of Etobicoke. It features five runways and two passenger terminals along with numerous cargo and maintenance facilities on a site that covers 1,867 hectares (4,613 acres).
Pearson Airport is the primary hub for Air Canada. It also serves as a hub for WestJet, cargo airline FedEx Express, and as a base of operations for Air Transat and Sunwing Airlines. Pearson is operated by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) as part of Transport Canada's National Airports System, and is the largest airport in the world with facilities for United States border preclearance.
An extensive network of non-stop domestic flights is operated from Toronto Pearson by several airlines to all major and many secondary cities across all provinces of Canada. As of 2019, over 75 airlines operate around 1,250 daily departures from the airport to more than 180 destinations across all six of the world's inhabited continents.
In 1937, the Government of Canada agreed to support the building of two airports in the Toronto area. One site selected was on the Toronto Islands in Downtown Toronto, which is the present-day Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The other site selected was an area northwest of Toronto near the town of Malton, which was originally intended to serve as an alternate to the downtown airport but instead would become its successor. The first scheduled passenger flight at the Malton Airport was a Trans-Canada Air Lines DC-3 that landed on August 29, 1939.
During World War II, the Royal Canadian Air Force established a base at the airport as a component of the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan. RCAF Station Malton was home to several training schools and was in operation between 1940-1946.
In 1958, the City of Toronto government sold the Malton Airport to the Government of Canada, which subsequently changed the name of the facility to Toronto International Airport, under the management of Transport Canada. The airport was officially renamed Lester B. Pearson International Airport in 1984, in honour of Toronto-born Lester B. Pearson, the fourteenth Prime Minister of Canada and recipient of the 1957 Nobel Peace Prize. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) assumed management, operation, and control of the airport in 1996, and has used the name Toronto Pearson International Airport for the facility since the transition.
Toronto Pearson International Airport has two active public terminals, Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Both terminals are designed to handle all three sectors of travel (domestic, transborder, and international), which results in terminal operations at Pearson being grouped for airlines and airline alliances, rather than for domestic and international routes.
A third public terminal, the Infield Concourse (IFC), currently acts as an extension of Terminal 3 providing additional bridged gates.
Terminal 2 was permanently closed and demolished in 2007, replaced by an expanded Terminal 1.
Measuring over 346,000 square metres (3,724,000 sq ft), Terminal 1 is the largest airport terminal in Canada and the 12th largest in the world by floor space. All Star Alliance airlines that serve Pearson are based at Terminal 1. Emirates is the only non-alliance airline that uses the terminal.
Terminal 1 was designed by a joint venture known as Airports Architects Canada made up of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, Adamson Associates Architects and Moshe Safdie and Associates. It contains 58 gates: D1, D3, D5, D7-D12, D20, D22, D24, D26, D28, D31–D45 (D32, D34, D36 also serve US flights and carry F designation), D51, D53, D55, D57 (also carry F designation), F60–F63, F64A–F64B, F65, F66A–F66B, F/E67–F/E81 (F68-F73 and F78-F81 serve both US and international flights but E74-E77 are international only), F59, F82-F83, and F84-F99. Two of the gates, E73 and E75, can accommodate the Airbus A380.
Along with the standard customs and immigration facilities, Terminal 1 also contains special customs "B" checkpoints along the international arrivals walkway. Passengers connecting from an international or trans-border arrival to another international (non-U.S.) departure in Terminal 1 go to one of these checkpoints for passport control and immigration checks, then are immediately directed to Pier E for departure. This alleviates the need to recheck bags, pass through security screening, and relieves congestion in the primary customs hall.
An eight-level parking garage with 8,400 public parking spaces (including 700 rental car spaces)  across from Terminal 1 is connected to the terminal by several elevated and enclosed pedestrian walkways.
Terminal 3 is a 178,000-square-metre (1,916,000 sq ft) facility designed by B+H Architects and Scott Associates Architects Inc. It is used by all SkyTeam and Oneworld airlines that serve Pearson, along with Air Transat, Etihad Airways, Sunwing Airlines, WestJet and all other airlines that are unaffiliated with an airline alliance (except Emirates, which uses Terminal 1). Terminal 3 has 46 gates: B1a-B1d, B2a, B2c, B3-B5, A6d-A6f, A7–A16, B17-B20 (also, A17-A20 for transborder flights), B22-B29, C30-C36 and B37–B41.
A five-level parking garage with 3,800 public parking spaces (including 600 rental car spaces)  is located directly across from the terminal along with the Sheraton Hotel, both of which are connected to Terminal 3 by an elevated pedestrian walkway.
Since June 2018, the GTAA has used the Infield Terminal to act as an extension of Terminal 3 to provide additional bridged gates. Passengers on flights arriving or departing from gates at the Infield Terminal are transported by bus to/from Terminal 3.
The Infield Terminal (IFT) was originally built to handle traffic displaced during the development and construction of the current Terminal 1. Its 11 gates (521 to 531) were opened gradually throughout 2002 and 2003, and a business lounge was opened in 2005. In 2009, the Infield Terminal was closed for regular operations in conjunction with the official opening of the newly constructed Terminal 1. However, the GTAA retained plans to reactivate the IFT for regular operations whenever necessary to accommodate seasonal or overflow demand.
Further renovations were completed at the Infield Terminal in early 2018 and on June 5, 2018, the terminal was reactivated for summer operations by the GTAA to act as an extension of Terminal 3 with the purpose of providing required additional bridged gates. Passengers are transported by bus between Terminal 3 and the IFT.
Due to its intermittent usage for passenger traffic, the Infield Terminal is frequently used as a location to film major motion pictures and television productions.
Skyservice FBO operates an 800-square-metre (8,611 sq ft) private VIP terminal at Toronto Pearson on Midfield Road in the infield area of the airport. The terminal handles most private aircraft arriving and departing at Pearson, providing passenger services that include 24/7 concierge, private customs and immigration facilities, personalized catering, showers, direct handling of baggage, and VIP ground transportation services.
Infrastructure and operationsEdit
Toronto Pearson has five runways, three of which are aligned in the east–west direction, and two in the north–south direction. A large network of taxiways, collectively measuring over 40 km (25 mi) in length, provides access between the runways and the passenger terminals, air cargo areas, and airline hangar areas.
|05/23||3,389.4 metres (11,120 ft)||61 metres (200 ft)||Cat. IIIa (05), Cat. I (23)||East-West|
|06L/24R||2,955.6 metres (9,697 ft)||61 metres (200 ft)||Cat. IIIa (6L), Cat. I (24R)||East-West|
|06R/24L||2,743.2 metres (9,000 ft)||61 metres (200 ft)||Cat. I (both directions)||East-West|
|15L/33R||3,368 metres (11,050 ft)||61 metres (200 ft)||Cat. I (both directions)||North-South|
|15R/33L||2,770 metres (9,088 ft)||61 metres (200 ft)||Cat. I (both directions)||North-South|
Toronto Pearson is home to the Toronto Area Control Centre, one of seven area control centres in Canada operated by Nav Canada. The airport uses a Traffic Management Unit (TMU), located in the apron control tower at Terminal 1, to control the movement of aircraft and other airport traffic on the ground. The main air traffic control tower at Pearson is located within the infield operations area of the airport.
The airfield maintenance unit is responsible for general maintenance and repairs at Pearson. During the winter months, the unit expands into a dedicated 24-hour snow removal team of more than 200 workers tasked with ensuring normal operations at the airport, as Pearson regularly experiences 110 to 130 centimetres (43 to 51 in) of total snow accumulation in a typical winter season. The airport employs over 94 pieces of snow removal equipment, including 11 Vammas PSB series and 4 Oshkosh HT-Series snowplow units, and 14 snowmelters.
Pearson Airport's Central De-icing Facility is the largest in the world, servicing over 10,500 aircraft each winter. The six de-icing bays, covering a total area of 24 hectares (60 acres), can handle 12 aircraft simultaneously and take between 2 and 19 minutes to de-ice each aircraft dependent on factors such as active weather and aircraft specifications.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) Fire and Emergency Service maintains 3 stations at the airport, with more than 80 firefighters providing fire and rescue operations at Pearson. They are equipped with 6 crash tenders as well as several pumpers, aerial ladders, and heavy rescue units. The GTAA Fire and Emergency Service operates in conjunction with the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI), located at the northwest end of the airport grounds.
Toronto Pearson handles over 50% of total international air cargo in Canada. The airport has three main cargo facilities, known as Cargo West (Infield), Cargo East (VISTA), and Cargo North (FedEx).
The Cargo West facility (also known as the Infield Cargo Area) is located between runways 15L/33R and 15R/33L. It is a multi-tenant facility including three large buildings with 52,600 square metres (566,000 sq ft) of warehouse space, a common use cargo apron, vehicle parking, and a truck maneuvering area. A four-lane vehicle tunnel connects the Infield Cargo Area to the passenger terminal area of the airport.
The Cargo East facility (also known as the VISTA cargo area) is located north of Terminal 3. The VISTA cargo area is a multi-tenant facility of several buildings organized in a U-shape, with 29,500 square metres (318,000 sq ft) of warehouse space and an adjacent common use cargo apron.
The Cargo North facility is the Canadian hub for FedEx Express. The site occupies an area on the north side of the airport lands near runway 05/23, and is home to two buildings operated exclusively by FedEx with 32,100 square metres (346,000 sq ft) of warehouse space and a dedicated cargo apron.
The Peel Regional Police is the primary law enforcement agency at Toronto Pearson. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) also maintain a Toronto Airport Detachment at Pearson, which provides federal law enforcement services.
The Canadian Air Transport Security Authority (CATSA) is responsible for security screening procedures at Pearson Airport. Other government agencies with security operations at Pearson include the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), and Transport Canada. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) also conduct operations at the airport to facilitate United States border preclearance.
Pearson Airport has seven aircraft maintenance hangars, operated by Air Canada, Air Transat, Westjet, and the GTAA, which are used for line maintenance and routine aircraft inspections. At the north end of the airfield are numerous independently operated hangars for charter aircraft and personal private aircraft based at Pearson, along with passenger and maintenance facilities to service them.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority maintains administrative offices on Convair Drive, near the southeast corner of the airfield. Gate Gourmet and CLS Catering Services both operate dedicated flight kitchen facilities at Pearson for airline catering services. Aviation fuel (Jet A-1) is supplied by Esso Avitat and Shell Aerocentre, both located in the infield operations area of the airport.
Airlines and destinationsEdit
|Cathay Pacific Cargo||Anchorage, Hong Kong, New York–JFK||VISTA|
|FedEx Express||Calgary, Edmonton, Indianapolis, Memphis, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Montréal–Mirabel, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie (ON), Sudbury, Timmins, Vancouver, Winnipeg||FedEx|
|Korean Air Cargo||Anchorage, New York–JFK, Seoul–Incheon||Cargo West|
|Lufthansa Cargo||Frankfurt||Cargo West|
|Turkish Airlines Cargo||Istanbul–Atatürk, New York–JFK, Shannon||VISTA|
- Union Pearson Express (UP Express)
The Union Pearson Express is an airport rail link running between Pearson Airport and Union Station in Downtown Toronto, with intermediate stops at Weston and Bloor GO Stations. Trains depart every 15 minutes from Toronto Pearson Terminal 1 station and provide a 25-minute travel time to Union Station, the busiest multimodal transportation facility in Canada. The UP Express operates daily between 5:27 am and 12:57 am.
- Link Train
The Link Train is an automated people mover that facilitates inter-terminal transportation at Pearson Airport. It runs between Terminal 1, Terminal 3, and the Viscount Value Park Lot, connecting to the airport terminals at Toronto Pearson Terminal 1 station and Toronto Pearson Terminal 3 station. The Link train operates daily, 24-hour service with trains departing all stations every 4 to 8 minutes.
- Toronto Transit Commission (TTC)
The Toronto Transit Commission operates daily, 24-hour public transit bus service from Pearson Airport to various stations in Toronto, with "Airport express" service to Kipling station on the Line 2 Bloor–Danforth subway line, and local/express rush hour service to Lawrence and Lawrence West stations on the Line 1 Yonge–University subway line. The TTC Blue Night Network operates local night bus routes to Warden Avenue, Eglinton station and Sunnybrook Hospital. Although the airport terminals are situated outside of the Toronto city limits, TTC services at Pearson do not require a supplementary fare. TTC buses arrive and depart from Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
- GO Transit
GO Transit operates daily, 24-hour public transit coach service from Pearson Airport to cities across the Greater Toronto Area with express service to Richmond Hill Terminal and Hamilton GO Centre, and local service to Finch Terminal. GO Transit coaches arrive and depart from Terminal 1.
MiWay operates all-day public transit bus service from Pearson Airport to the city of Mississauga, with express service to City Centre Transit Terminal, Humber College, and Winston Churchill Transitway Station, and local routes to Westwood Square Terminal, Renforth station, and Meadowvale Town Centre Terminal. MiWay buses arrive and depart from Terminal 1, Terminal 3, Toronto Pearson Viscount Station, and the infield operations area of the airport.
- Brampton Transit
Brampton Transit operates all-day public transit bus service from Pearson Airport to the city of Brampton, with express service operating to Bramalea Terminal. Brampton Transit buses arrive and depart from Terminal 1.
- Greyhound Canada
Greyhound Canada operates daily intercity coach service from Pearson Airport to the Toronto Coach Terminal, cities across Southern Ontario, and select cities in the U.S. states of New York and Michigan. Greyhound Canada coaches arrive and depart from Terminal 1.
Taxicabs and limousines can be accessed at designated taxi stands located outside of both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Only official airport-licensed taxis and limousines can legally pick up passengers at Pearson, and all airport-licensed taxi and limo companies use GTAA authorized flat rate fares for travel from the airport.
Toronto Pearson is directly accessible from Highway 427 and Highway 409 with Airport Road and Dixon Road providing local access to the airport. There are 12,200 parking spaces available in parking garages adjacent to Terminal 1 and Terminal 3, in addition to several other parking lots located in the immediate area.
Car rentals are available from various major car rental agencies located in the parking garages adjacent to both terminals. Car rentals are also available from off-airport car rental agencies located near Toronto Pearson Viscount Station, accessible from both terminals via the Link Train.
Pearson is served by several long-distance van and minibus shuttle operators, which provide transportation from the airport to various municipalities and regional airports throughout Southern Ontario, and to select cities and towns in the U.S. states of New York and Michigan.
Proposed transit hubEdit
In February 2017, the GTAA announced a proposed transit hub to be located across from Terminal 3 that would connect with Union Pearson Express and may connect with other transit lines extended to the airport like Line 5 Eglinton LRT and GO Transit Regional Express Rail. This proposal would eliminate the Link Train connecting Terminals 1 and 3 with a bridge from the transit hub to Terminal 3 and another bridge connecting Terminal 3 to Terminal 1.
|Year||Total passengers||% change||Domesticc||% change||Transborderc||% change||Internationalc||% change|
- ^c : For operational and statistical purposes, a distinction is made between "transborder" and "international" flights at Toronto Pearson and at any other airport in Canada with United States border preclearance. A "transborder" flight is a flight between Canada and a destination in the United States, while an "international" flight is a flight between Canada and a destination that is not within the United States or Canada, and a "domestic" flight is defined as a flight within the Canadian territories only.
Incidents and accidentsEdit
- On October 3, 1959, Vickers Viscount CF-TGY of Trans-Canada Air Lines was written off when it landed short of the runway. No fatalities among the 38 on board.
- On February 10, 1960, a Super Constellation of Trans-Canada Air Lines was seriously damaged when it overran the runway after landing in bad weather. None of the 59 passengers and crew were injured.
- On June 13, 1964, Vickers Viscount CF-THT of Air Canada was damaged beyond economical repair when it crash-landed after the failure of two engines on approach.
- The airport's deadliest accident occurred on July 5, 1970, when Air Canada Flight 621, a DC-8 jet, flew on a Montreal–Toronto–Los Angeles route. The pilots inadvertently deployed spoilers before the plane attempted landing, forcing the pilots to abort landing and takeoff. Damage to the aircraft that was caused during the failed landing attempt caused the plane to break up in the air during the go-around, killing all 100 passengers and nine crew members on board when it crashed into a field southeast of Brampton. Controversy remains over the cleanup effort following the crash, as both plane wreckage debris and human remains from the crash are still found on the site.
- On August 30, 1970, Douglas C-47 CF-JRY of D G Harris Productions was damaged beyond economic repair in a storm.
- On June 26, 1978, Air Canada Flight 189 to Winnipeg overran the runway during an aborted takeoff, and crashed into the Etobicoke Creek ravine. Two of the 107 passengers on board the DC-9 were killed.
- On June 22, 1983, Douglas C-47A C-GUBT of Skycraft Air Transport crashed on takeoff roll at Toronto International Airport while on an international cargo flight from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Ohio. Both of the crew members were killed.
- On August 2, 2005, Air France Flight 358, an Airbus A340-300 (registration F-GLZQ) inbound from Paris, landed on runway 24L during a severe thunderstorm, failed to stop, and ran off of the runway into the Etobicoke Creek ravine. The rear third of the plane burst into flames, eventually engulfing the whole plane except the cockpit and wings. There were 12 serious injuries, but no fatalities. The investigation predominantly blamed pilot error when faced with the severe weather conditions.
- On May 10, 2019, Air Canada Flight 8615, a Bombardier DHC-8-300, was struck by a fuel truck while taxiing on the tarmac. Five persons were injured and the plane was deemed a write-off.
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The Airport occupies some 1,867 ha (4,613 acres) and is adjacent to Highway 401, the main east/west highway route through southern Ontario and the busiest highway in North America. The bulk of the Airport (1,824 ha 4,507 acres) is within the City of Mississauga with 43 ha (106 acres) located within the City of Toronto.
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Air Canada's four hubs, Toronto (YYZ), the primary global hub, Montreal (YUL), the gateway to French international markets, Vancouver (YVR), the airline's premier gateway to Asia Pacific, and Calgary (YYC), offer Air Canada customers smooth connections under one roof.
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On average, between 110 to 130 cm of snow falls here each winter
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Toronto Pearson handles about 50 per cent of the international air cargo in Canada, making our airport a critical link in the supply chain of Canadian businesses.
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