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Pearson celebrates award for best large airport in North America

Last Updated Nov 12, 2018 at 5:26 pm EST

Toronto's Pearson International Airport was given an award for best large airport in North America by Airports Council International. CITYNEWS/Tony Fera

Toronto’s Pearson International Airport held a special event Monday, celebrating the honour of being named North America’s best large airport for customer service in 2017.

The Airport Service Quality award presented in September by Airports Council International names Pearson the top airport in North America that serves more than 40 million passengers annually. The group describes itself as a global trade representative of the world’s airports.

The award is based on passenger surveys conducted by the council, which evaluate service quality at airports according to 34 performance indicators across 18 elements of a passenger’s experience including security, check-in, food, airport facilities and passport control.

Pearson by the numbers

  • 1, 100 flights daily
  • 456,000 flights annually
  • Over 120,000 passengers daily
  • Over 44 million passengers annually
  • 49,000 employees

Howard Eng, President and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) said the award was an honour, but they are not resting on their laurels.

“You can never stay still in this world,” he said. “We thank people for providing feedback and we’ll continue to look at ways to improve every year.”

Minister of Transport Marc Garneau congratulated airport staff at the event, adding that the award is a barometer for the passenger experience since it is based on their satisfaction on the day of travel.

“Winning that award was no easy feat,” he said “Toronto Pearson served 47 million passengers in 2017 and is on it’s way toward 50 million – that’s quite remarkable. I’m glad the work and efforts of employees here at the airport are recognized and clearly appreciated”

CityNews and 680 NEWS asked viewers and listeners how they felt about the honour given to Pearson and the responses were not nearly as flattering.

“This is a laughable award. Pearson is a terrible airport” tweets Michael Fitzgibbon. G. Schindler agrees saying “Worst airport ever!”

Some responses were a bit kinder, like John Mills who said “It’s modern, clean and now with a direct train to downtown.”

Scroll through more responses below:


Pearson annual traffic vs. other large North American airports

  • Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport – over 103 million passengers
  • O’Hare International Airport – over 79 million passengers
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport – over 59 million passengers
  • Los Angeles International Airport – over 47 million passengers
  • Pearson International Airport – over 44 million passengers