Toronto Pearson Preparing To Welcome Travellers For March Break


Today, the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), operator of Toronto Pearson, held a media day to provide travel tips for passengers ahead of March Break.

March Break has always been one of the busiest times at Pearson, and this year the GTAA expects up to 125,000 passengers per day during the peak travel weekend, starting today. This represents approximately 85% of pre-pandemic volume seen during March Break 2019.

Pearson has been collaborating with its partners to support their operations, including working with airlines since August of last year to ensure they balance their activity with their resources during the traditionally busy travel period.

For passengers, Pearson and its airport partners have introduced a number of tools to make travel easier.

These include:

  • YYZ Express, an online reservation program, allows travellers to book a spot in the security line ahead of their flight, up to 72 hours in advance. This will help speed up security wait times for passengers.
  • Mobile Passport Control, an app introduced by United States Customs and Border Protection, allows travellers to digitally submit their customs form for a smoother departures experience from Pearson if they’re travelling to the US.
  • Pearson’s live wait times dashboard provides travellers with real-time information ahead of arriving at the airport.
  • Pearson’s peak travel times dashboard gives passengers a look at historical data to help them understand if they’ll be passing through the airport during a busy period.
  • Advance Declaration continues to be offered by Canada Border Services Agency, which lets travellers submit their customs and immigration declaration up to 72 hours in advance of flying into Canada, giving them a faster border experience and saving them time at Pearson. And new at Pearson, passengers who complete Advance Declaration will have access to an Express Lane in the customs area, further saving them time.

Passengers can brush up on what to do to make the security screening experience smoother by checking out travel tips from CATSA. There are specific tips for families, seniors, passengers with special needs and more.

To keep the kids entertained, Pearson will be offering activities in both terminals, including appearances by Lester the Toronto Pearson mascot, who will be handing out lip balms, colouring books, crayons and more. Ron the magician will also be on-hand to entertain families while they wait for their flights.

Travellers should also be mindful that this is the time of year when winter weather can impact travel. Potential weather disruptions in the form of snow are expected today. While every partner in the Pearson ecosystem works diligently to mitigate the effects of weather events, it’s important to know that snow, ice and extreme cold weather can impact flights.

Pearson has robust protocols in place to limit the negative impact of winter weather on flight operations. These include:

  • Central Deicing Facility (CDF) is capable of deicing 500 aircraft in a single day as quickly and safely as possible.
  • State-of-the-art snow removal equipment keeps the runways clear so aircraft can land and take off safely. If snow is in the forecast, we make sure extra staff are scheduled and equipment is in position so we’re ready to roll as soon as the snow falls.

Officials strongly encourage all passengers to check their flight status with their airline before leaving for the airport.


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