Major delays and cancellations reported as snow blankets Toronto Pearson Airport
Toronto is in the grips of a historic snowstorm, and travel in and out of Canada's busiest airport is, as you'd imagine, a complete freakin' mess due to the snowfall currently ensnaring the region.
Up to 25 centimetres of snow could fall on the region by the time the storm passes, and Toronto Pearson Airport is already feeling the effects just a few hours after the first snowflakes descended from above.
The airport reported just after 2:30 on Wednesday afternoon that roughly 25 per cent of flights — including departures and arrivals — were delayed amid the record snowfall.
In the hours before the proverbial frosted sh*t hit the fan, a representative of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) overseeing operations at Pearson tells blogTO that the airport "has been working closely with airlines, agencies and third-party service providers to prepare for today's winter storm, with passenger safety as our top priority."
WEATHER ALERT: Heading to Pearson today? Be careful as snow is in the forecast for Southern Ontario, making for poor road conditions and visibility. As always, check your flight status with your airline before leaving for the airport. #ONstorm #safetyfirst— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) January 25, 2023
The GTAA rep says that "Winter weather is a reality of life in Canada, and just as any number of services may be affected across the province of Ontario during the storm, passengers should be aware that their travel plans into and out of Pearson may be impacted."
Even before the storm arrived, the airport was anticipating major delays, with the Texas Low system affecting other airports across the continent and threatening to compound the coming chaos.
"Delays from other airports can compound here as airlines attempt to meet their domestic and international connections. As a result, their on-time performance may suffer and they may cancel some flights."
WEATHER ALERT: If you’re travelling or picking up today, please check your flight status on our website or with your airline before leaving for the airport. Delays are possible as our ground crews work hard in these challenging conditions to ensure the safety of all passengers.— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) January 25, 2023
Acknowledging that "airlines and other service providers have also had issues with labour absenteeism," the GTAA representative explains that much of the slowdowns occur due to weather impacting NAV Canada operations and the need to prep iced-over planes for departure.
With a winter storm headed for Toronto (Pearson and Billy Bishop), Ottawa and Montreal, please check your flight's status before going to the airport at https://t.co/j6Q9rcqGp4. A travel advisory is in effect permitting customers to make flight changes. pic.twitter.com/RS4jMeXX79— Air Canada (@AirCanada) January 24, 2023
"As for Pearson itself, snow requires clearing," explains the representative, boasting of a "world-class deicing facility" while admitting that even the best system "needs time to do its work."
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