As demand for fast, efficient global access continues to grow, Toronto Pearson links Canadians to opportunities worldwide while helping to integrate transit networks in our own backyard. Our impact can be summed up in two words: we connect.
In 2016, more than 44 million passengers travelled through Toronto Pearson – an 8 per cent increase over the previous year, reflecting the continued growth in demand that has shaped our airport over the past two decades. Those additional three million travellers were attracted by our ability to provide quick, smooth connections to the rest of Canada, North America and the world – while serving as a gateway to our region for visitors from every part of the globe.
But there’s far more to our airport’s role than getting people efficiently and comfortably from one place to another. As this annual report shows, Pearson connects in countless ways. We link local, regional and national enterprises to the global economy, opening up new markets for innovative products and services. We facilitate business development, immigration, tourism and, more generally, the crucial flow of people and ideas.
The economic activity enabled by our airport drives greater prosperity throughout our region, most obviously in the form of employment. According to an independent study of our economic impact that was updated in the past year, Toronto Pearson generates or facilitates more than 330,000 jobs in Ontario. The total annual economic impact of our airport is calculated at $42 billion, or 6.3 per cent of Ontario’s GDP. This is projected to reach $63 billion, or 6.8 per cent of GDP, by 2030.
What’s more, our impact extends right across the country. From the lobster fishery of Atlantic Canada to the ski resorts of British Columbia, businesses count on Canada’s largest airport to provide easy global access and to welcome travellers from abroad who have money to spend or invest. From coast to coast to coast, Pearson connects Canadian communities and enterprises to long-term growth and prosperity.
We’re in the connectivity business
The people we’re here to serve don’t just journey from airport to airport. Regional travellers make their way to Toronto Pearson from their homes or places of business, while those arriving from elsewhere typically have a few more kilometres to journey before they reach their final destination. We therefore also have an important role to play in supporting convenient, efficient and sustainable ground transportation.
In the past year, we announced plans for a regional transit centre integrating Toronto Pearson with existing and proposed rail and bus networks that will ultimately link much of southern Ontario. Working closely with ground transportation agencies and all levels of government, we’ve proposed a multi-modal hub that will provide easier access to our airport and – more importantly – offer greener, more economical and less stressful transit options for the hundreds of thousands of commuters who currently travel our region’s traffic-clogged roads.
The GTAA is ideally positioned to spearhead development of the regional transit centre, based on geography, infrastructure and, above all, experience. Because while our focus at Toronto Pearson is on aviation, our real expertise is helping enhance the flow of people and goods across our region and around the globe. We’re in the connectivity business.
Where the present meets the future
This larger vision of how Pearson connects is driving our evolution from a major global hub to a “mega hub” – one of a handful of airports worldwide whose interconnections bridge dynamic regional economies. In planning for our evolution to this higher tier of airports, we’re responding to the needs of the communities we serve, as more and more travellers crisscross the planet and regional businesses connect with the wider world.
As a mega hub, Toronto Pearson will extend its potential reach via daily direct flights to 80 per cent of the global economy. The volume of connecting passengers, which already accounts for nearly a third of total traffic, will steadily grow, allowing carriers to add more routes than origin-and-destination traffic alone could support. These new global dimensions will in turn boost the competitiveness of our region – and all of Canada – through increased trade and foreign direct investment. The economic benefits highlighted throughout this annual report will only deepen as Toronto Pearson grows to support a projected 700,000 jobs in the region.
We’ve begun sharing our mega hub vision with diverse stakeholders and will continue these consultations in the coming year, confident that we’ve built a solid foundation for success. Our airport is a self-sustaining enterprise with a healthy balance sheet. Working with carriers, government agencies and other partners, we’re improving passenger flow in areas such as baggage processing, customs and immigration (both Canadian arrivals and U.S. preclearance) and security screening. And we’re maximizing the value of existing assets by adding more retail and dining options while revitalizing spaces such as the central node in Terminal 3 – all to enhance the overall airport experience.
The impact of these efforts is reflected in our highest score yet in the globally recognized Airport Service Quality (ASQ) passenger satisfaction survey. Toronto Pearson advanced against nine of 10 key quality benchmarks in 2016 – three years ahead of target in our long-term quality strategy. That momentum is sustained by the strong support of our Board of Directors, which provides vital counsel as we pursue our strategic goals. And as always we’re indebted to the over 1,500 employees of the GTAA – and the 49,000 people who work at our airport – who support our vision every day. Their readiness to help ensure passengers enjoy the best possible experience is captured in the highly successful engagement campaign we launched during the past year: I am Toronto Pearson.
As Canada’s largest airport and a leading global hub, we’re here to create connections that wouldn’t otherwise happen. We link adventurous people to promising opportunities, and we bridge the ambitious dreams of today to the achievements of tomorrow. Because this is what a great airport does. We connect.
President and Chief Executive Officer