Have you ever wondered what it takes to keep an airport running? For most passengers travelling through the airport, what they see and experience at Toronto Pearson barely scratches the surface of what actually goes on behind-the-scenes on a daily basis. It’s a hive of activity 24/7 to ensure that 1,100 flights a day are able to safely takeoff and land at our airport.
The following pages will help you learn more about what happens every day at Toronto Pearson. Before you start exploring, here are some fun facts about us.
Every flight that leaves Toronto Pearson requires a team effort. On a daily basis, Toronto Pearson employees work closely with our airline and industry partners, including NAV Canada, Canadian Border Service Agency and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, to ensure passengers and cargo are able to get to their destinations quickly and easily. With a team of 38,000 people working at the airport, Toronto Pearson is like a small city. And with 33 million travellers passing through each year, it’s little wonder we work with so many partners to ensure things run as smoothly as possible. The Toronto Pearson family includes:
At Toronto Pearson, the safety of our guests, employees, community and country is at the core of every decision we make. Together, this team works to make sure passengers, crew and cargo get where they’re going on time, safely and securely
Every day, Toronto Pearson has approximately 1,100 flights taking off and landing and we have five runways. There are a number of factors that affect which runway an aircraft is directed to use. These factors include:
In addition to the technical flight requirements listed above, air traffic control also works to ensure that all aircraft taking off and landing are meeting Toronto Pearson and NAV Canada’s – the organization that manages all civilian (non-military) air traffic control in Canada – noise abatement procedures, which help us to reduce the impact of airport noise on our neighbours.
At night (12:30 a.m. to 6:30 a.m.), we use what is called a preferential runway system to ensure planes use flight paths that travel over the least number of residential neighbourhoods.
When taking off from Toronto Pearson, pilots must use what are known as Standard Instrument Departure (SID) routes or Departure Procedures (DP). SIDs are published in the Canada Air Pilot ensure that there is a common understanding among pilots about how they should be taking off from our airport. The procedures outline a number of special requirements such as:
These procedures ensure safe and efficient operations at our airport.
Once air traffic control has guided a plane to safely land at Toronto Pearson, the pilots are given directions to their assigned gate. Our taxiways follow the standards set by Transport Canada, which align with the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) standards – the United Nations agency developed to promote the safe and orderly development of international civil (non-military) aviation.
As Canada’s largest airport, many different types of planes need to land at Toronto Pearson. To ensure passengers are easily able to board and disembark as required, we have different gates that have been designed to accommodate different aircraft.
Working with our partners
While you may never see them, many different airport employees are involved in preparing for the arrival of an airplane. Once the airplane is safely at the gate, there is lots of work to be done to unload the plane and get it ready for its next flight. Sometimes the turnaround time is as fast as one hour.
For every passenger flight that lands at Toronto Pearson, we work with our airline and ground service partners to:
With an average of 1,100 flights a day, it takes many people, with a wide range of skills, to prepare for each plane’s arrival and subsequent departure so that the next group of passengers can safely reach their destination on time.