5 Changes At Pearson Airport Meant To Make Summer 2023 Travel Smoother Than Last Year

Officials are prepared and you can be, too. 👇✈️

The international terminal at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

The international terminal at Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ).

Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) wants summer 2023 to be memorable, but not in any way like last year.

Canada's largest airport has unveiled a list of changes and improvements that have been made in an attempt to reduce passenger headaches after a chaotic post-pandemic return to travel in 2022 and ahead of what it anticipates will be a "robust" summer season.

The president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), Deborah Flint, admitted to the mistakes that were made last year in a recent news conference.

"Last summer was challenging for passengers, and we have responded with a full suite of process improvements and practices with our partners to deliver a more customer-centric and reliable experience," Flint said in a press release. "Our new approaches include more resources, transparency, and resiliency planning."

In simple terms, these changes include everything from time-saving tools that passengers can take advantage of when travelling through Pearson Airport to staffing levels and new processes that are meant to hold the airport and airlines accountable for problems and delays.

Realistically, you'll want to know about these changes if you have any summer travel plans taking you through Pearson Airport, so here they are:


After nightmare stories last year of marathon baggage delays and some passengers not even getting their bags at all, Pearson Airport said it was bringing in an outside firm to perform a "baggage system health check," which was due to be completed by spring 2023.

The results are meant to reduce wait times and delays for baggage across Pearson Airport.

The GTAA said upgrades to its baggage system feature AI technology that "anticipates overloading and detects potential breakdowns before they occur."

On top of that, the system will record data with the goal of "pushing accountability with airlines and their ground handlers," while the agency added, thanks to increases staffing levels, more employees will be on hand at Pearson Airport to move bags during any "irregular operations."

Passenger self-service

Pearson Airport is unveiling new and upgraded systems that will give travellers a self-service option at various steps of their check-in process.

Along with its usual contactless check-in and boarding machine, a new partnership with the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) will use "biometric e-gates" to lower wait times for travellers going through Pearson Airport customs.

Digital tools for passengers 

Some of the technological advancements at Pearson Airport include the expanded use of various digital tools, starting with YYZ Express, which passengers can use to book their spot in line at airport security.

The airport said the hours for YYZ Express are being expanded, and it will also be put into service at every security screening area. Other online tools are also available to help passengers save time, like the U.S. Customs and Border Control 'Mobile Passport Control' app, which allows travellers headed to the states get through customs faster.

Pearson Airport also promised new digital mapping tools are on the way "to empower travellers with better information as they navigate our terminals," and a new online dashboard is also being deployed to provide "real-time analysis and insights on key customer sentiment metrics."


Increased staffing levels at Pearson Airport is another major change officials expect will help improve overall operations and reduce wait times, with more people being hired to work in "critical areas" like bussing, baggage, and terminal operations.

The GTAA said 130 new team members were recently hired in preparation for the busy summer travel season to keep operations running smoothly during peak travel times.

Data tracking

On top of the changes travellers may notice while making their way through Pearson Airport, there are a number of new things that will be happening behind the scenes that officials hope will lead to an improved passenger experience.
The GTAA said it will be installing new sensors to collect screening data on wait times at various terminals and airport checkpoints.
There is also further work taking place between the airport and the airlines flying in and out of it, from managing the volume of flights to ensure the airport can effectively receive and process passengers to verifying airline staffing levels and performance to hold airlines to what the GTAA referred to as "acceptable standards."

Stuart McGinn
Stuart McGinn was the Money Editor for Narcity Media and focused mainly on covering topics ranging from personal finance, to real estate, and careers. Stuart is from Ottawa and is now based in Toronto.