Southern Ontario Airports Join To Tackle Growing Air Travel Demand

Open Jaw

Howard Eng

In the wake of a new report suggesting that air travel demand in Southern Ontario will significantly exceed airport capacity within the next 20 years, Toronto Pearson joined 10 other airports from the region today to launch an initiative aiming to ensure that demand is met.

In a speech at Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, Greater Toronto Airports Authority CEO Howard Eng launched the Southern Ontario Airport Network (SOAN), an initiative tasked with coming up with solutions as to how the region can facilitate 110 million passengers annually by 2043.  

The goals of SOAN include: 

  • Completing a catchment and demand study of the region to identify opportunities for future point-to-point growth in leisure, business aviation and short-haul markets at regional airports;
  • Understanding the ground transportation needs in Southern Ontario and advocating for investment in ground transportation improvements that will reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions;
  • Developing strategies for responsible and sustainable airport growth including community engagement and noise management. 

"Toronto Pearson has experienced substantial growth in demand for air travel. In 2016, we reported 8% growth in passenger numbers over the previous year, the largest growth year-over-year in the history of the airport. This growth is forecasted to continue over the next three decades, presenting tremendous opportunity, not only for Toronto Pearson but for the region as a whole," said Eng.

With its plans to become a mega hub airport, YYZ will play a specific role as a member of SOAN, attracting and accommodating a greater number of international routes and passengers. By 2035, the airport aims to serve 80 million passengers annually, facilitate 700,000 jobs in the airport employment zone, connect Canada to 80% of the world's economy and account for 8.5% of Ontario's GDP. 

Eng said Southern Ontario airports will benefit from increased economic opportunity and air travel demand facilitated by the YYZ hub. Each airport will play a role in increasing its capacity.

SOAN is comprised of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Hamilton John C. Munro International Airport, Lake Simcoe Regional Airport, London International Airport, Oshawa Executive Airport, Niagara District Airport, Peterborough Airport, Region of Waterloo Airport, Toronto Pearson International Airport and Windsor International Airport. 

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