Toronto Pearson – Winter Operations Protocols Make Flying Safer for Passengers

Heavy Duty Snow Ploughs and Snow Blowers keep the runways clear and the airport open
Heavy Duty Snow Ploughs and Snow Blowers keep the runways clear and the airport open

Toronto Pearson Ready for Winter Operations

TORONTO – AVIATION – Winter in Toronto has meant that Toronto Pearson has put Winter Weather Operations into action. Toronto Pearson often becomes the destination for international and domestic aircraft if there are weather issues at other destinations. With stormy weather south of the border, often Toronto Pearson with its enhanced and modern facilities those issues can be better handed in Canada.

Enhanced Winter Weather Operations Approach to help meet the needs of passengers and to ensure the safe and efficient operation of the airport during severe winter weather.

“Based on feedback from passengers, the many employees who work at the airport, and industry experts, Toronto Pearson has made changes to how it handles winter weather, including how it communicates with passengers,” said Vijay Kanwar, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) Board Chair. “Our guests deserve the highest standards of communication and customer service.”

Heavy Duty Snow Ploughs and Snow Blowers keep the runways clear and the airport open
Heavy Duty Snow Ploughs and Snow Blowers keep the runways clear and the airport open

As part of the new approach, the GTAA has invested in a number of resources, including new snow removal equipment and warming stations for employees working outside, to help deal with irregular operations that impact air travel.

Working with Air Canada, West Jet and NAV Canada, the GTAA has also made improvements to aircraft traffic management programs that provide a better balance between airport capacity and demand during irregular operations. This is particularly important given that winter weather in other North American cities can result in flights being unexpectedly diverted to Toronto Pearson.

“We’re all used to bad winter storms,” said Howard Eng, GTAA President and CEO.  “We understand how important it is for our customers and employees to have confidence in our ability to handle these conditions.” “That’s why, together with our air carriers, NAV Canada, and government agencies we have implemented an enhanced Winter Weather Operations Approach based on all 12 recommendations of the GTAA Board’s Winter Operations Review that will help us to be better prepared for severe weather conditions this season.”

A key focus of the new Winter Weather Operations Approach is improved communications with passengers.  In addition to delivering operational updates through terminal screens and its website, Toronto Pearson has launched a new mobile app that provides notifications of operational disruptions at Toronto Pearson, thereby allowing passengers to plan accordingly.  The GTAA has also enhanced its Wi-Fi and cellular capacity in both terminal buildings, and have put measures in place to ensure that passengers who become delayed in terminals for extended periods of time during severe winter weather will have access to essential items such as water or diapers.

Mountains of snow at Toronto Pearson
Mountains of snow at Toronto Pearson

About the Greater Toronto Airports Authority

The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport, the biggest airport in Canada and one of the largest airports in North America in terms of passenger and air cargo traffic. The focus of the GTAA continues to be on competitiveness, growing the airport’s status as an international gateway, meeting the needs of our travellers and ensuring the long-term success of the organization, our airline customers and the regional economy.

Fast Facts

  • New Toronto Pearson mobile app with push notifications to provide passengers with the latest airport updates
  • Website alerts via Travel Updates page on
  • Enhanced Wi-Fi and cellular capability in Terminals 1&3
  • Availability of essential items like diapers and water during extended delays
  • Airport-Airline-Partner protocol defines roles and responsibilities during severe weather
  • Joint airspace traffic management approach with NAV CANADA and airlines to better manage flow of arrivals and departures
  • Enhanced fleet of winter weather equipment


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