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Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Reaches Key Milestone Toward Delivery of U.S. Customs and Border Protection Preclearance

29/05/2024

Toronto (May 29, 2024) – As the latest step in a more connected Toronto, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is pleased to announce the selection of Pomerleau as the construction management firm and Alstef Canada as the baggage handling system provider for facilities work associated with the introduction of United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) Preclearance in late 2025. Executives from the airport, Pomerleau, and Alstef Canada were at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to make the announcement at a media event earlier today.

“We are pleased to welcome Pomerleau and Alstef Canada to the implementation team, and recognize this important milestone in bringing US Preclearance to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport in late 2025. As the 5th-busiest Canadian airport serving the US, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is ideally positioned to offer US Preclearance and anticipates significant enhancements to passenger experience, destination offering, and economic impact as a result of the introduction of this service,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO, PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “I would like to once again thank the Federal Government for its commitment to the long-term future of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and its investment of $30 million in capital funding to make US Preclearance a reality. We look forward to continued collaboration with all levels of government to ensure Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport remains a vital piece of transportation infrastructure and an economic driver for Toronto and the surrounding region well into the future.”

“The benefits of Preclearance have been demonstrated at 15 airports around the world, and recent research by York Aviation indicates that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has the potential to deliver $5.3 billion in economic output through the increased aviation activity that Preclearance will bring about,” said Neil Pakey, President and CEO, Nieuport Aviation, owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “Set to open ahead of FIFA 2026, Preclearance fulfils our promise of continually enhancing the passenger experience, and will allow Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to be the front door to Toronto for even more visitors in the years to come.”

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a critical hub for those traveling for business or pleasure throughout North America,” said Sean Smithson, Toronto Regional Vice President at Pomerleau. “Pomerleau is pleased to be delivering this project with our partner Alstef Canada, who will implement the baggage handling system, with mobilization plans well underway. Construction will start mid-July and we look forward to this best-in-class facility going live by fall 2025.”

“We are thrilled to be continuing our partnership with Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport on this important project,” said Steven Tanguy, Managing Director at Alstef Canada. “Our expertise in completing baggage handling upgrades in operational airports, as demonstrated by the successful completion of 50+ baggage handling projects across Canada, will help ensure seamless integration of US CBP Preclearance processing.”

Beyond increased efficiency and choice for US-bound passengers, US CBP Preclearance drives visitor spend through increased tourism and business activities, boosts employment, and strengthens ties between the United States and Canada. Below are supplementary quotations from stakeholders across Toronto and beyond that highlight the transformative impact that Preclearance will have on the city and the region.

Supplementary quotations:

“Toronto’s downtown airport is an outstanding feature of the value proposition we offer to businesses, visitors, and travellers alike. Having Preclearance to the United States just adds to the convenience and efficiency offered to North American companies looking to access the business, financial, and tech capital of Canada. Congratulations to our colleagues at PortsToronto and Nieuport Aviation for all you do to sell our city to the world.”

  • Stephen Lund, President & CEO, Toronto Global

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport connects our city to key North American markets, international investment, and tourism, currently generating $2.1 billion in GDP. It is a vital part of this city’s transportation infrastructure, one that will only grow in importance as we welcome FIFA, the WNBA and other new opportunities in the coming years. Today’s news demonstrates exciting progress in delivering this much-needed Preclearance facility—another step forward to support the airport’s continued success and downtown’s ongoing economic recovery.”

  • Giles Gherson, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a competitive advantage for Ontario—a critical link between our largest city and communities across Ontario as well as North American business destinations. That’s why the Ontario Chamber of Commerce welcomes today’s announcement to boost the airport’s capacity and capabilities for US preclearance. We have three OCC members to congratulate today: Nieuport Aviation and PortsToronto for their leadership, and Pomerleau for its selection as the construction management firm for this project.”

  • Daniel Tisch, President and CEO, Ontario Chamber of Commerce

“As a global destination for major meetings, business, and leisure travelers, Toronto’s air access is a vital competitive advantage. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides strategic connectivity from high-volume U.S. markets, and Preclearance is an important step that will help attract more visitors and the powerful economic impact their visits bring to our community.”

  • Andrew Weir, President and CEO, Destination Toronto

About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ)

Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 100 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway that will offer US Preclearance in 2025. The airport is a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output and supporting 4,450 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport’s operations. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has served its community for 85 years from its iconic location on the Toronto waterfront, where it facilitates healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is committed to achieving its vision of cleaner, greener and quieter operations, and is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency, and customer service, having won a host of passenger-driven and environmental achievement awards. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto. To learn more, visit www.billybishopairport.com.

About PortsToronto

For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $28 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government. To learn more, visit www.portstoronto.com.

About Nieuport Aviation

Nieuport Aviation is the owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Backed by Canadian and international pension funds and supported by significant international expertise in managing aviation operations, we are committed to world-class customer service for the millions of customers using the airport. In addition to managing the passenger terminal, Nieuport Aviation offers passengers a free bus shuttle service between the airport and downtown Toronto, helping to provide a seamless travel experience. For more information, please visit www.nieuport.com. Since acquiring the airport terminal, Nieuport has invested $60 million in upgrades, recently opening the Aspire Business Lounge for Canadian travellers. Nieuport is further investing in the development of the US Customs pre-clearance facility, to be opened in 2025. For more information, please visit www.nieuport.com.

About Pomerleau

Pomerleau is one of Canada’s largest construction companies, with over $4.8 billion in revenues in 2023. The company delivers buildings, civil and infrastructure works, and major projects using alternative models. With its research and development lab, Pomerleau integrates innovation into more than 70% of its projects and constructs sustainably to build the living environments of tomorrow. Its subsidiary, Borea, executes 50% of the country’s renewable construction projects, and ITC Construction Group, acquired by Pomerleau in 2022, is the largest residential construction company in the West. Pomerleau also owns Pomerleau Capital, a subsidiary specializing in private infrastructure investment and financing. Founded over 60 years ago, Pomerleau has approximately 5,000 employees on over 200 sites from coast to coast. The company has been recognized as one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers since 2020 and one of Deloitte’s Best Managed Companies. www.pomerleau.ca.

About Alstef Canada

Alstef Group designs, integrates and supports automated turnkey solutions for the airport, intralogistics and parcel markets. Its mission is to create intelligent solutions that not only meet the needs of its customers, but also provide them with the long-term benefits of a tailor-made automated system that is eco-designed, efficient, scalable and innovative. Alstef Group emphasizes building lasting relationships through collaborative efforts with customers and proactively promotes ongoing support services and maintenance to ensure sustained efficiency and performance of their solutions. With a local presence in sixteen countries and a wide range of systems installed in 93 countries, Alstef Group has 950 employees. The group generated revenue over €220 million in 2023.

 

Contact

Jessica Pellerin, Senior Manager, Communications, PortsToronto

jpellerin@portstoronto.com

 

Ryan White, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs

ryan.white@nieuport.com