The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) has announced in a press release that it will increase the aeronautical rates and the airport improvement fee (AIF) on January 1, 2023. The Greater Toronto Airports Authority operates Toronto’s Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Canada’s largest airport and a major connector of people, businesses and goods.
As of January 1, 2023, aeronautical rates for commercial aviation, business aircraft and general aviation aircraft will increase by 4 per cent. The AIF for departing passengers will increase by $5; whereas the fees charged for connecting passengers will increase by $1. Currently, the airport improvement fee is $30 (plus applicable taxes) for departing passengers and $6 (plus applicable taxes) for connecting passengers. Currently these fees are collected through airline ticketing. The connecting fee applies to both domestic and transborder flights where the next flight takes place less than four hours after arrival at the airport. All fees shown are in Canadian dollars.
The press release states that “These increases are a result of the high inflationary environment and ongoing impacts from Covid-19. The adjustment to the AIF will put Toronto Pearson in line with the current rates charged by other airports across Canada.
The impacts of the pandemic both on the global air travel industry and on Pearson have been significant, with the airport having added significant debt to its balance sheet to remain operational over the last two years. Adjustments will generate revenue for the operation of Toronto Pearson, including increasing passenger services and investments in infrastructure and restoration projects that drive a better passenger experience.”
The GTAA reports that revenue generated will support the operation of Toronto Pearson, including:
- The installation of new inbound baggage carrousels, including the upgrade of 29,000 metres of baggage handling conveyor belts and a new robotic baggage storage and retrieval system in Terminal 3;
- More cleaning and passenger service providers to respond to rising demand for air travel;
- Renovations to airport amenities across both terminals, including a refresh of washrooms and customs clearance areas;
- A major restoration of roofing in Terminal 3;
- Refurbishing escalators and moving walkways while augmenting systems with advanced technologies, such as a pilot of autonomous vehicles;
- Doubling the investment in the annual airport asset restoration program; and
- Increasing staff to for maintenance and administration activities.
“Airport operations have improved significantly since the summer, but Toronto Pearson is still feeling the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. As a not-for-profit entity, it is incumbent upon us to ensure that we have sufficient revenues to maintain and invest in a world-class facility to provide our valued passengers with an experience that is appropriate for Canada’s largest airport,” says Deborah Flint, President and CEO, GTAA.
Travel is expected to increase in Canada now that the government has removed all Covid-19 travel entry restrictions. They have also ended testing, quarantine and isolation requirements for all travelers (whether vaccinated or not) entering Canada.