As TORONTO continues to grow and prosper, so does its airport. PEARSON INTERNATIONAL is having quite the year – 9.6-million people passed through in July and August alone. Traffic has grown by 6% in each of the past two years. The airport’s record in 2015 was 41-million passengers in total.
Canada’s position in the Great Circle Route flight path, and growth in the use of larger wide-bodied planes such as the Boeing 787 and Airbus A-380 have helped boost Pearson’s standing among international airlines. Right now there are direct flights from TORONTO to nearly 70% of the economies of the world.
Pearson is Air Canada’s main hub and the second largest airport in North America serving international travellers – behind only JFK in NEW YORK. Air Canada has increased its marketing effort in the United States to encourage Americans to fly to international destinations through TORONTO, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary.
<A Richard Serra sculpture on Pearson’s concourse>
<Air Canada jets waiting to depart on a frigid winter morning>
Surpassing all expectations, BILLY BISHOP TORONTO CENTRE AIRPORT has racked up a record number of comings and goings in June/2016 – a splendid 250,000.
The Airport serves Air Canada and PorterAir short takeoff and landings with only one runway. It supports 6,500 jobs – with 1,900 of those directly related to airport operations.
Billy Bishop is on an island, connected to the mainland by a brand new tunnel and – if you prefer – the shortest ferry ride in the country. It’s within easy reach of TORONTO’s Financial District and a 10 minute walk to public transit. There’s also a free bus shuttle to downtown T.O. run by PorterAir.
There are flights, several times daily, from Billy Bishop to Montreal, Ottawa, New York City, Pittsburgh, Boston, Thunder Bay, Timmins, Halifax, Quebec City, Chicago, Washington DC and Moncton.
The long-awaited $82.5-million tunnel under the Western Gap now connects downtown TORONTO to Billy Bishop Island Airport.
A bank of elevators lowers passengers 30 metres underground, and from there four moving sidewalks – two in each direction – will transport them to the terminal building. Billy Bishop is one of Canada’s busiest intercity airports, with multiple daily connections to New York City, Boston, Montreal, Quebec, Chicago, Sudbury, Washington DC, Thunder Bay, Halifax and Ottawa.
The BBTCA (Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport) pedestrian tunnel is expected to open sometime this winter. TORONTO’s second busiest airport, 9th busiest in Canada, will then be connected to the mainland. It will have four moving sidewalks, a bank of six elevators on the mainland side, and escalators on the airport side leading to check-in. Walking through the tunnel will take less than 6 minutes.
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has seen its passenger numbers rise steadily up to about 2.4-million in 2014. By comparison, TORONTO’s Pearson International, Canada’s busiest air hub welcomed roughly 32-million domestic and international travelers last year. Dubai International, the busiest airport in the world, saw over 70-million visitors in 2014.