This is a photograph taken inside Terminal 3 of the Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario, Canada.
Lester B. Pearson International Airport (IATA: YYZ, ICAO: CYYZ), commonly known as Toronto Pearson International Airport, is an international airport located in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. It is the main airport serving Toronto, its metropolitan area, and the surrounding region known as the Golden Horseshoe. It handled 50.5 million passengers in 2019. The airport is named in honour of Lester B. Pearson, who served as the 14th Prime minister of Canada and received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1957.
Toronto Pearson is located 22.5 kilometres (14.0 mi) northwest of Downtown Toronto. Most of the airport is situated in Mississauga and a small portion of the airfield, along Silver Dart Drive north of Renforth Drive, extends into Toronto's western district of Etobicoke. It has five runways, two passenger terminals, and numerous cargo and maintenance facilities on a site covering 1,867 hectares (4,613 acres).
It is the largest and busiest airport in Canada. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020, it was the second-busiest international air passenger gateway in the Americas (behind John F. Kennedy International Airport) and the 30th-busiest airport in the world by passenger traffic. In July 2022, Toronto Pearson gained notoriety for being ranked as the worst airport in the world for delays. Toronto Pearson 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. Toronto 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. Since 2014 (but before the COVID-19 pandemic), over 75 airlines operated 1,250 daily departures from the airport to more than 180 destinations across all six 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, 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 in what was then Toronto Township (which would later become Mississauga to avoid confusion with the nearby city of Toronto), 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. Since Toronto has more than one airport, YTO is used for the area designation, while Pearson is coded YYZ, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is YTZ, and Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport is YKZ. YZ was the code for the station in Malton, Ontario, where Pearson Airport is located and hence the IATA code for Pearson Airport is YYZ. The telegraph station in Toronto itself was coded TZ, which is why Toronto's smaller Billy Bishop Airport is coded YTZ.
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 and 1946.
In 1958, the municipal government of Toronto 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 14th 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 Toronto 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. Terminal 3 retains its numbering to prevent confusion.
Terminal 1 replaced Aeroquay One and Terminal 2.
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. Air Canada and all other Star Alliance airlines that serve Pearson Airport are based at Terminal 1. Also using this terminal are Air North, Canadian North, Emirates, Eurowings Discover, and Lynx Air.
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. International-to-domestic passengers use the same corridor and a bus for one-stop security procedures, which avoids having to re-clear security if coming from another country with a mutual agreement.
The terminal has a total of eight lounges, with five of the lounges being Air Canada operated lounges (three Maple Leaf Lounges, one Maple Leaf Express Lounge, and one Signature Suite) and three being Plaza Premium operated. Both Air Canada and Plaza Premium have lounges in the Domestic, International, and Transborder zones, with the Signature Suite being in the International Zone.
In addition to the eight lounges, Air Canada operates the Air Canada Cafe, in which premium passengers have the ability to enter the zone and get premium coffee, tea, and grab-and-go snacks.
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 1 is home to the ThyssenKrupp Express Walkway, the world's fastest-moving walkway.
Terminal 3 was the base of operations for Canadian Airlines International (defunct since 2001) and is now the Toronto hub for WestJet, which is unaffiliated with any airline alliance.
The building 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 Airport, along with Air Transat, Etihad Airways, Pakistan International Airlines, Philippine Airlines, Sunwing Airlines, Canada Jetlines, and all other airlines that are unaffiliated with an airline alliance (Air North, Canadian North, Emirates, Eurowings Discover and Lynx Air are the only airlines that are unaffiliated with an airline alliance use 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.
American Airlines has an Admirals Club in the US Pre-clearance departures area.
The Infield Concourse (IFC) 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 Concourse 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 IFC for regular operations whenever necessary to accommodate seasonal or overflow demand.
The terminal was substantially renovated in late 2015 to serve as a dedicated terminal for incoming government-sponsored refugees of the Syrian Civil War. Further renovations were completed at the Infield Concourse 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 IFC. Effective December 2019, Sunwing Airlines moved their operations from Terminal 3 to the IFC.
Due to its intermittent usage for passenger traffic, the Infield Concourse 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 a 24/7 concierge, private customs and immigration facilities, personalized catering, showers, direct handling of baggage, and VIP ground transportation services.
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.
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, 4 Oshkosh Corporation Snow Products HT-Series snowplow units, and 14 snow-melters.
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 three stations at the airport, with more than 80 firefighters providing fire and rescue operations at Pearson. They are equipped with six crash tenders as well as several pumpers, aerial ladders, and heavy rescue units. The GTAA Fire and Emergency Service operate in conjunction with the Fire and Emergency Services Training Institute (FESTI), located at the northwest end of the airport grounds.
Toronto Pearson handles approximately half of all the 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 Pearson Airport. The Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) also maintain a Toronto Airport Detachment at Pearson Airport, 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 Airport for airline catering services. Aviation fuel is supplied by Esso Avitat (Jet A-1) and Shell Aerocentre (Jet A and A-1), both located in the infield operations area of the airport.
Several public transit bus services operate bus routes to Toronto Pearson International Airport. Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) operates daily, 24-hour public transit bus service from Pearson Airport to various subway stations in Toronto, with route 900 Airport Express being the main express bus service to the airport from Kipling station on Line 2 Bloor–Danforth subway line, and route 52 Lawrence West providing rush hour service to Lawrence and Lawrence West stations on Line 1 Yonge–University subway line. Additionally, route 900 Airport Express buses have a unique airport-themed livery. The TTC Blue Night Network operates local night bus routes to Warden Avenue in Toronto's east end via Bloor Street and Danforth Avenue, Eglinton station via Eglinton Avenue, and Sunnybrook Hospital. Although the airport terminals are situated outside of the Toronto city limits, TTC bus services at Pearson Airport do not require a supplementary fare. TTC buses serve both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3.
Two public transit operators based in Peel Region also operate routes to the airport: Brampton Transit, and MiWay. Brampton Transit operates an 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. MiWay operates an 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.
GO Transit is another daily, 24-hour public transit service that operates coaches from the 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.
The airport is served by several long-distance coach, 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.
Coach Canada's Megabus service provides bus service between Pearson Airport and Hamilton International Airport as well as between Pearson Airport and destinations east of Toronto, such as Port Hope, Trenton, Belleville, Napanee, Kingston, and Cornwall.
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.
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.
Ridesharing services Uber and Lyft are available at Pearson Airport. Designated rideshare pickup zones are located at both Terminal 1 and Terminal 3. Terminal 1 pickup is from the ground level, while Terminal 3 pickup is from the arrivals level.
Presently, two train services operate at the airport, one serving as an airport rail link, the other as a localized people mover.
The Union Pearson Express (UP 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 intermodal transportation facility in Canada. Union Station offers connections to numerous GO Transit regional rail and bus services as well as inter-city rail links on Via Rail's Québec City–Windsor Corridor. Combined UP Express and inter-city tickets may be purchased from VIA Rail. The UP Express operates daily between 5:27 am and 12:57 am of the next day.
The Terminal Link 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 Terminal Link train operates daily, 24-hour service with trains departing all stations every 4 to 8 minutes.
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.
Metrolinx is currently planning the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, which is a western extension of the under-construction Line 5 Eglinton to a proposed transit hub at Pearson Airport across the terminals at the site of Viscount Station. The extension is scheduled to open in 2030–31. As of 2020, the segment to Pearson is under study by Metrolinx and the GTAA. The line will connect the airport to Midtown Toronto and Scarborough with additional transfers to Downtown Toronto. Metrolinx is also studying a potential connection with Line 6 Finch West to the transit hub with additional transfers to York University and Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. Other connections like the Mississauga Transitway are being studied.
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