We are committed to continually reviewing and enhancing the way we serve our passengers and our community.

    As part of this commitment, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) undertook a 90-day Review to look at how Toronto Pearson functions during irregular operations and what happened specifically during the January 5-9 weather event.

    On January 18, the GTAA issued a call to travellers, the general public and airport employees to submit feedback about their experiences and observations during the January 5 – 9 weather event. Your input has helped us understand not only what happened, but the impacts it had from all points of view.

    What were the Results?

    On April 10, the GTAA released Toronto Pearson, January 2014 Operations Disruption: Review and Recommendation, a report on the unusual weather conditions experienced at the airport between January 5 and 9, 2014 that outlines a series of actions to improve Toronto Pearson’s operations, communication and customer service.

    The findings have resulted in twelve recommendations to improve the passenger experience during irregular operations. They focus on improvements to three areas: operations, communications and customer service. Some of the changes have already been implemented; some will take more time. In November, we will be issuing a report on our progress.

  • Observation   Recommendation    Status   Completion Date  
    • Operations Recommendations
      Preparation and planning for unusual conditions Recommendation 1: Revise and test the GTAA’s Irregular Operations Plan to harmonize with the operations plans of airport service providers to improve the airport’s response to unusual winter weather and other disruptions. Working with airport service providers October 2014
      Recommendation 2: Establish clear early-warning criteria and define joint escalation levels and procedures within the GTAA and among key airport service providers to ensure timely, responsive and coordinated decision-making where large-scale service-level disruptions occur or are imminent. Working with airport service providers July 2014
      Recommendation 3: Expand and better equip the Emergency Operations Centre to allow for improved coordination of airport service providers. Ongoing December 2014
      Recommendation 4: Secure additional equipment for unusual winter weather operations to improve the resilience of the airport to weather. Ongoing November 2014
      Recommendation 5: Proactively deploy warming stations to protect ground support crews during unusually cold weather. Complete January 2014
      Traffic management Recommendation 6: Establish a joint traffic management team to improve aircraft arrival and departure metering to allow for active management of potential imbalances during irregular operations. Working with airport service providers November 2014
      Apron conditions Recommendation 7: Improve the GTAA’s Apron Snow and Ice Removal Plan to enable better gate access during weather disruptions. Working with airport service providers November 2014
      Baggage Recommendation 8: Develop, implement and test an arrival baggage Irregular Operations Plan and identify baggage system and handling escalation criteria to better monitor the inbound baggage process. Working with airport service providers November 2014
    • Communications Recommendations
      Information sharing Recommendation 9: Improve GTAA internal communication. Improve communication protocols with airlines and other airport service providers to enable a clear, consistent and accurate flow of information among service providers. Working with airport service providers September 2014
      Passenger, media and employee communication Recommendation 10: Create a passenger- facing app, and enhance joint protocols and develop the necessary processes and other tools for irregular operations communications to passengers, media and Toronto Pearson employees to enable timely and effective communication. Working with airport service providers November 2014
    • Passenger Well-being Recommendations
      Passenger experience Recommendation 11: Develop and publish GTAA guidelines for responding to the needs of passengers during irregular operations. Ongoing September 2014
      Communications infrastructure Recommendation 12: Establish an ‘Airports Updates’ web page that becomes the GTAA website’s dominant web page during a service disruption, and improve Toronto Pearson’s WiFi and cellular capacity. Ongoing Various Completion Dates

  • How was the Review Conducted?

    The Review findings were developed following input and information collected from a number of sources, including customer focus groups, stakeholder interviews, management’s analysis of the disruption, an independent communications review, and Airports Council International expert panel review, and a detailed document review and analysis conducted by Deloitte.

    An ad hoc Committee of the GTAA Board of Directors engaged a Blue Ribbon Panel to independently review and evaluate submissions received by the Committee and to ensure that recommendations put forward by the Committee were sufficient to address the issues identified. Read the Executive Summary.

    The GTAA Board unanimously accepted each of the committee’s twelve recommendations and the associated action as set out above.

    Toronto Pearson’s goal is to provide all visitors with the world-class travel experience they expect and deserve. This review and its actions will help enhance passenger well-being and will improve communications with our passengers.
    --Vijay Kanwar, Chair of the Board of Directors, GTAA
    Unifor puts health and safety for all airport workers and travelling customers first. We are pleased to see that a review has taken place and moving forward this review will benefit all aspects and sectors of the airport and Local 2002 members.
    --Ata Ugursoy, District Chair 333, Local 2002 Unifor
    Toronto Pearson is Air Canada’s largest hub and key to the airline’s future growth and success. We look forward to working collaboratively with the GTAA and all of Toronto Pearson’s service providers to implement the actions identified in this report.”
    --Nick Careen, Vice President Airports, Call Centres and Customer Relations, Air Canada
    WestJet welcomes the GTAA’s report. Working with the GTAA and Toronto Pearson’s stakeholders to implement these action items will help to improve the airport’s operations, communications and customer service during unusual weather.
    --Fred Cleveland, Executive Vice President, Operations, WestJet

    Have Your Say

    We continue to welcome all feedback, ideas, and suggestions and will continue to review for ways the airport can improve its operations and better protect and enhance the well-being of the travelling public. You can choose to connect with us by using the surveys below or by engaging with us on social media using the hashtag #yourairport.

    We want to work with you to provide an even better travelling experience at Toronto Pearson – after all, it’s Your Airport, Your Say.