Passengers flying out of Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ) will be hit with slightly higher fees starting January 1, 2023.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which oversees Pearson’s operations, is increasing its airport improvement fee (AIF) due to the “high inflationary environment,” the authority wrote in a press release on Wednesday (Sept. 28).
“The adjustment to the AIF will put Toronto Pearson in line with the current rates charged by other airports across Canada,” the GTAA said.
Fees for airlines will also see an increase. Effective Jan. 1, aeronautical rates for commercial aviation, business aircraft and general aviation aircraft will increase by four per cent.
The AIF for departing passengers will increase by $5, whereas the fees charged for connecting passengers will increase by $1.
“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,” the GTAA said.
The revenue generated will fund new inbound baggage carrousels at YYZ, including the upgrade of 29,000 metres of baggage handling conveyor belts and a new robotic baggage storage and retrieval system in Terminal 3, says the GTAA.
It will also pay for more cleaning and passenger service providers; renovations at both terminals, including a refresh of washrooms and customs clearance areas; roof upgrades at Terminal 3; and refurbishing escalators and moving walkways while augmenting systems with advanced technologies, such as a pilot of autonomous vehicles.
"Airport operations have improved significantly since the summer, but Toronto Pearson is still feeling the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Deborah Flint, president and CEO of the GTAA. “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.”
The news comes after Toronto Pearson ranked fifth-last in overall traveller satisfaction, out of 20 "mega airports," with 755 points on a 1,000-point scale, according to a new study by U.S. market research firm J.D. Power.