Pearson Airport to limit flights during peak hours ahead of March Break, summer travel season

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto's Pearson International Airport, says it will be implementing a number of measures ahead of a busy travel season to 'flatten peak-hour schedules.' (Darek Zdzienicki/CBC - image credit)
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority, which operates Toronto's Pearson International Airport, says it will be implementing a number of measures ahead of a busy travel season to 'flatten peak-hour schedules.' (Darek Zdzienicki/CBC - image credit)

Toronto's Pearson Airport will be placing a "hard limit" on the number of flights arriving or departing during peak times ahead of March Break and the upcoming summer travel season.

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates the airport, says it will be implementing a number of measures to "flatten peak-hour schedules.

"These include hard limits on the number of commercial flights that can arrive or depart in any given hour along with limits on business/general aviation flights," said GTAA spokesperson Rachel Bertone in a statement to CBC Toronto on Tuesday.

"In addition, measures have been applied to cap the number of passengers that can arrive internationally, or depart to the United States through each terminal, in a given hour."

The GTAA has not yet provided any details on the cap limits.

The authority added that the new limits placed on the number of incoming and outgoing flights are meant to "strike a balance between airline commercial interests and the capabilities of the entities across the entire airport ecosystem ... to deliver successfully on travel demand."

Last year, the airport saw a rash of troubles that caused many passengers to face disruptions including flight delays, cancellations and hours-long bottlenecks at security.

The GTAA, along with airlines, blamed the issues on a lack of security screening staff, ongoing federal COVID-19 restrictions and limitations on aircraft movements.

The authority said Tuesday it is "analyzing and optimizing" its staffing plans and increasing the frequency of testing and training around key areas of the baggage system. It says it will also be installing AI technology to streamline what is happening at all gates and notify ground handlers and baggage workers in an effort to "reduce delays and optimize the time planes spend at the gates."