High value focus for Toronto Pearson

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Toronto Pearson International Airport, copyright Andrew H. Cline 2015

Toronto-Pearson International Airport’s strategic plan for cargo needs to reflect the increased development and flow of global trade of high value cargo, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) says.

It is becoming a mega hub airport, with numerous non-stop daily flights to the world and the strategic plan needs to reflect the importance of cargo travelling through the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.

GTAA says: “As our economy continues to strengthen and more nonstop international destinations become available we expect air cargo to grow at an industry average annual rate of 4.7 per cent.”

Exports passing through Toronto grew from $31 billion in 2015 to $35.2 billion while international cargo has grown from 204,000 tonnes in 2013 to 312,000 tonnes in 2016.

The primary exports coming through Toronto Pearson in 2016 were gold, pharmaceuticals, aircraft parts, live lobsters and other seafood, ginseng roots, live eels, eggs of fowl and cattle feed.

Pharmaceuticals, manufacturing parts, clothing, earth worms and tomatoes remained the most popular imports.

Toronto Pearson is connected to 67 per cent of the world’s economy through non-stop, daily flights, which GTAA says provides ample opportunity for businesses to reach international markets.

GTAA says: “It’s also important to note that Toronto Pearson is located in close proximity to the financial centre of Canada (Toronto) and the most densely populated region of Canada (southern Ontario).”

Though Toronto Pearson does not plan any major updates to existing facilities, it has room to grow within its space; it is developing a new cargo strategy to support the vision to become a mega hub airport.

GTAA says: “Our strategic plan for cargo will need to reflect the increased development and flow of global trade of high value cargo items through the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.”

It says Canadian companies gain business on account of reliability and high quality products and services, saying: “Coupled with the high level of connectivity that Toronto Pearson offers, means that Canadian businesses and international buyers have streamlined access to our market and vice versa.”