Toronto Pearson To Launch Departure Reservation Program

 - February 12, 2019, 11:29 AM

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and Nav Canada are rolling out a reservation program for airline and general aviation departures at Toronto Lester B. Pearson International Airport (CYYZ) as authorities try to make traffic flow there more predictable and efficient. Trials of the new airport collaborative decision making (A-CDM) procedures are set to begin on February 18, with a target of full rollout on April 23. “[CYYZ] will be the first airport in North America [with] a new, even more powerful version of A-CDM,” the Canadian authorities say. Trial periods will involve “activation windows,” with notifications announced via the automatic terminal information service (ATIS) broadcast.

For business and general aviation, operators must obtain departure reservations at least 60 minutes and up to 72 hours before the planned operations. However, based operators can book up to 30 days in advance.

The program outlines a series of procedures to notify of the planned departure, including a requirement that the operator provide a target off-block time (TOBT, when the aircraft is ready for push back). The A-CDM system will generate a target set-up approval time that will sequence when aircraft can expect to receive startup approval. “TOBT is…used to set up an optimal pushback and start-up sequence that considers all applicable constraints, like deicing and eventual air traffic flow management restrictions,” officials said, noting the airport will determine the actual order of start-ups.

Further procedures are required to obtain the start-up approval, and start-up must occur within a two-minute timeframe of that approval. If the airport doesn’t hear from the operator in cases of an interrupted start-up, the operation will be removed from the sequence.

The Canadian Business Aviation Association (CBAA) expressed disappointment with the current rollout and is continuing to push for adjustments to streamline the procedures and better align requirements for business aviation operations, said CBAA president and CEO Anthony Norejko.

The program is designed to increase data that might improve service at CYYZ, Norejko said. “GTAA has a problem at the terminals, so they’re trying to get a handle on traffic departing and arriving from CYYZ.” However, business aviation accounts for no more than 7 to 10 percent of the traffic at the airport.

“Business aviation does not represent an operational challenge at Toronto Pearson,” he said. “As Canada’s largest city, the economic impact to the region and our country as a whole will be felt if we limit access to the only airport that effectively serves the region.”

Collaborating with a coalition of operators and FBOs, CBAA has worked to push back on more onerous elements of the program and have been able to secure some changes, including ensuring no limits or caps on reservations and providing for up to 30 days advance booking for based operators. “We’re still working to amend and simplify the drafted procedures,” Norejko said. “It’s obvious [the business aviation procedure] was pasted from the airline version.”