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Updated Research Highlights Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s Growing Economic Potential to Region


Toronto (May 27, 2024) – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport today released updated research from York Aviation that underscores the vital role that the airport plays in helping to drive the economy for Toronto, Ontario and Canada. The research projects strong growth in destinations served, economic impact, and jobs supported with the introduction of United States Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) Preclearance in late 2025. This development will make Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport one of only 15 airports in the world where departing passengers can be inspected by US CBP prior to boarding their plane, and proceed directly to their destination or connecting flight upon arrival in the US.

The research study projects  future benefits resulting from next year’s introduction of Preclearance at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, and in line with the airport’s existing managed growth strategy:

  • A net impact of $5.3 billion in annual GDP (up from $4.8 billion in earlier research)
  • $215 million in total annual tax revenue, based primarily on direct on-site activities (up from $150 million)
  • 3,680 on-site jobs (up from 3,350)

York Aviation also projects increased choice for passengers in the form of more than 10 new routes to the US, with this growth in connectivity resulting in approximately 32,000 jobs supported across the wider economy. To view the original study, click here.


“Our economic impact includes tourism spend, which is hugely important to Toronto’s economic vibrancy, and this latest research makes it clear that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important driver of the city’s visitor economy,” said Neil Pakey, President and CEO of Nieuport Aviation, owner and operator of the passenger terminal at YTZ. “Just in time for FIFA 2026, the introduction of US CBP preclearance will not only grow the airport’s already significant economic contribution, but also increase the choice in destinations that we offer our passengers.”

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an undisputed economic engine for the City of Toronto and region by enabling tourism and trade, creating jobs and driving GDP,” said RJ Steenstra, President and Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “The research conducted by York Aviation would indicate that the projected economic benefits of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will increase in the coming years due to investments in US CBP Preclearance, which will offer significant benefits to the travel experience, destination offering and economic impact.”

“Airports are key to a city’s economic prosperity in a globalized world and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is no exception,” said James Brass, Partner, York Aviation. “The airport’s city center location is invaluable to businesspeople and visitors, and this is reflected in its economic value.  Preclearance will enhance this locational advantage, unlocking growth and enabling the airport to fulfil its potential as an economic driver.”

“As with their original report, the authors prepared an excellent follow-up, using leading-edge methodologies for evaluating the economic contributions of airports, especially for the role of connectivity,” said Fred Lazar, Associate Professor of Economics, Schulich School of Business, York University. “This latest report once more demonstrates the many benefits that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides to the city of Toronto and the province of Ontario.”


The research has used well established and accepted methodologies to examine the economic impact of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The approach considers a wide range of effects, from its role in job creation on-site at the airport, through to its function as a catalyst for trade and investment through enabling business travel.  In developing the methodology, York Aviation worked with Professor Fred Lazar, Associate Professor of Economics, Schulich School of Business, at York University, as a peer reviewer.

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 80 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.

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 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.

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 $14 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.


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Media Contacts

Jessica Pellerin, Senior Manager, Communications, PortsToronto

Ryan White, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Nieuport Aviation