TORONTO, April 10, 2014 /CNW/ - Today, the Board of Directors of the
Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) released "Toronto Pearson,
January 2014 Operations Disruptions: Review and Recommendations," a
report on the unusual weather conditions experienced at the airport
between January 5 and 9, 2014 that outlines a series of actions to
improve Toronto Pearson's operations, communication and customer
Immediately following the events in early January, the Board of
Directors of the GTAA established an ad hoc committee to study the
disruption to operations and to identify steps to improve the passenger
experience through changes to airport operations, communications and
customer service. After completing a substantive and wide-ranging
review, the GTAA today announced twelve actions that will improve
Toronto Pearson's overall effectiveness.
While maintaining safety will always be the GTAA's top priority, if and
when Toronto Pearson faces unusual weather conditions, these action
items will improve passenger well-being and the airport authority's
ability to better communicate with passengers. Further, these action
items will help Toronto Pearson communicate with passengers in real
As Canada's leading transportation hub and vital economic engine, it is
important that the airport be prepared in advance for irregular
operations, have tools to communicate effectively with passengers, and
consistently deliver excellent customer service.
Listed in detail in the report, these action items include:
Improved protocols for communicating with passengers and the public to
ensure frequent and timely, accurate, and consistent communication;
A new Toronto Pearson mobile application that will make travelling
through the airport easier for passengers;
Updated and published guidelines for addressing the needs of passengers
during times of severe delays and irregular operations so passengers
know the GTAA's commitment to them;
An 'Airport Updates' web page has already been launched and would become
the GTAA website's dominant landing web page during irregular
Improvements to Toronto Pearson's WiFi and cellular capacity to meet
increasing demands will also be delivered;
Establishing clear early warning criteria and defining joint escalation
levels and procedures with key airport service providers to ensure
timely, responsive and coordinated decision-making where large-scale
service level disruptions occur or are imminent;
Securing additional equipment for unusual winter weather operations to
improve the resilience of the airport to weather; and
Expanding and better equipping the Emergency Operations Centre to allow
for improved coordination of airport service providers to better manage
To ensure that the GTAA meets its commitment to improve passengers'
experiences at Toronto Pearson, the GTAA will provide an update to the
public on the progress made in November 2014.
The full report, including a full list of actions, can be read by
Between January 5 and 9, 2014, much of Canada and the United States
experienced unusual winter weather conditions. Over this period,
Toronto Pearson experienced a combination of rain, snow, unexpected
snow squalls and wind chills that reaches as low as -39 degrees
The fact-based review included information collected from a number of
sources, including: public focus groups and outreach; airport service
provider interviews; GTAA management's analysis and review of the
incident; an independent communications review; an Airports Council
International (ACI) expert panel review; and a detailed document review
and analysis. The GTAA consulted with industry experts and sought input
from three key stakeholder groups: the travelling public, airport
employees and Toronto Pearson airport service providers (e.g.,
airlines, government agencies, and commercial service providers).
Additionally, the Ad Hoc Committee engaged a Blue Ribbon Panel to
independently review and evaluate submissions received to help ensure
that recommendations put forward are sufficient to address the issues
identified and will contribute to improving services offered to
Toronto Pearson's goal is to provide all visitors with the world-class
travel experience they expect and deserve. This review and its actions
will help enhance passenger well-being and will improve communications
with our passengers.
Vijay Kanwar, Chair of the Board of Directors, GTAA
The goal of our review has been to improve the service we offer our
visitors. We can do so by improving our unusual winter weather
operations to prevent and mitigate the impacts of disruptions, where
possible. When disruptions do occur, we will do a better job of
communicating with the public; and we will treat our passengers with a
high standard of customer service.
Shaun Francis, Chair of the Ad Hoc Committee, GTAA
The GTAA management team is committed to bringing these recommendations
to life. In fact, since the launch of the GTAA's review, we have
already begun to implement many of the operational, communications and
customer service changes that will improve passengers' experience. This
is a priority for our team.
Howard Eng, Chief Executive Officer, GTAA
Unifor puts health and safety for all airport workers and travelling
customers first. We are pleased to see that a review has taken place
and moving forward this review will benefit all aspects and sectors of
the airport and Local 2002 members.
Ata Ugursoy, District Chair 333, Local 2002 Unifor
Toronto Pearson is Air Canada's largest hub and key to the airline's
future growth and success. We look forward to working collaboratively
with the GTAA and all of Toronto Pearson's service providers to
implement the actions identified in this report."
Nick Careen, Vice President Airports, Call Centres and Customer
Relations, Air Canada
WestJet welcomes the GTAA's report. Working with the GTAA and Toronto
Pearson's stakeholders to implement these action items will help to
improve the airport's operations, communications and customer service
during unusual weather.
Fred Cleveland, Executive Vice President, Operations, WestJet
The GTAA is the operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport,
handling the most airline passengers and cargo traffic of any Canadian
airport. Toronto Pearson is the second busiest airport in terms of
international traffic (international and transborder) in North America.
In 2013, 36.1 million passengers travelled through Toronto Pearson.
SOURCE: Greater Toronto Airports Authority
For further information:
Contact: GTAA Media Office (416) 776-3709