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Toronto Pearson International Airport

But sometimes (apparently 27 times between 2012 and 2017) they don't listen or understand (maybe doing their best Harrison Ford impression?).

27 times over 6 years or 4.5 times a year. Certainly worthy of investigation but is it the most urgent issue needing to be addressed? Remember the report stated that the runways DO met current safety regulations so there is little impetus to make expensive changes. Again pilots need to follow ATC commands.

And if this is the only airport out of the 100 they looked at that had this type of set-up, then presumably this unusual arrangement for a major airport might be part of what is tripping them up.

I'd be curious to see what airports they looked at and what specifically about the arrangement at Pearson is unique. Newark for example has a similar runway pair in their 04/22 pair (sure they have a taxiway between the runways) any aircraft landing on 22L still needs to cross runway 04L/22R to get to the terminal. LAX has two paired runways, 06/24, and 07/25 and in both cases landing aircraft need to cross the inner runway when landing on the outer runway and there are NO taxiways running around the end of the runways. Paris CDG also has two paired runways 09/27 and 08/29 and NO perimeter taxiways around the end of the runways. Even Manchester, though not exactly paired, still requires an aircraft to cross one runway to get to/from another runway. I just don't see how Pearson could be so unique that pilots are so thrown off that they start driving into active runways with other aircraft on them.

It would appear the difference between Pearson and other airports is the lack of a taxiway in between the pairs (see Newark for example), thus runway perimeter taxiways would not fix it. It would require a complete rebuild of the south runway complex moving one or both runways apart in order to fit in an interior taxiway.

As they said in the report, it seems kind of lucky that it hasn't led to a collision yet, but waiting for it to happen before addressing the problem doesn't strike me as being the wisest course of action.

This sounds to me like media speak. Luck has nothing to do with it, ignoring ATC command has the potential for serious consequences whether it's stopping at runway thresholds or maintaining assigned tracks or flight levels.

There are operational ways to mitigate this situation. Pearson could use the inner runway for arrivals and the outer runway for departures, though you still have an aircraft having to cross a runway (this time at the end of the runway instead of in the middle). Or you could eliminate use of the high speed turn off during times where both runways are being used for simultaneous departures/arrivals, though this could affect airport efficiency. Or you could simply fine the airlines that fail to stop at that runway threshold, that would get airlines and pilots attention

From what I can see in the 2017 GTAA Master Plan, it states "Where our 2008 Master Plan anticipated the need for a new runway, we now expect to be able to meet demand with existing capacity throughout our 20-year planning period."

Did you see the part in the Master Plan that said " we will continue to protect land that would make this runway alignment possible, both as we make land use decisions on the grounds of Toronto Pearson and as we consider registered zoning beyond the airport boundary "?
This YouTube video has interesting views of the airport -- I'm guessing probably from a Humberwood Blvd apartment. Looking south along Highway 427 would make a good permanent live webcam for seeing planes arriving on or departing from runway 24R/06L, along with another one showing the wider view of the northern part of the airport with runway 23/05.
I think the Drake plane mentioned in the description is seen starting at 13:52.
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There are plans for perimeter taxiways for runway 15L/33R both at the North and the South end of the airport. Any perimeter taxiway around the 06/24 pair would need to be a sufficient distance from the runway and at the ends be far enough from or low enough below the runways in order for aircraft using the runways to land safely without striking the aircraft on the taxiway, this is problematic as the area is constrained to the West by the Airport road system and more importantly by hwy 427; to the South by a number of GTAA office and support buildings and (again) more importantly by hwy 401; and to the East by airport access roads and the Etobicoke creek valley.

Usually with taxiways like that, they are still going to get a hold short when traffic is on short final. The last thing a landing crew needs is to be distracted by having to get over the tail of someone crossing below them.

I think we will see the runways extended to allow for runway aircraft arresting systems before you see perimeter taxiways,

A far better use of the space.

Pilots just need to listen to their ATC directions.

And the aviation community needs to get better at installing runway incursion warning systems at all major airfields.
Emirates A380 Crew Confused By Gate Allocation In Toronto
confusion in Toronto after an Emirates Airbus A380 touched down.

This was in an older thread from 2007, "re: Plane-spotting at Pearson" :
... I remember as a kid, I used to go up to the top of old Terminal 1's parking garage and watch the planes from there, but as everyone knows that spot is no longer...
LAX recently opened a new parking structure and invites plane spotters.
The open-air rooftop of the facility offers amazing plane spotting views, as the building sits just under the flight path for the north runways.
And another guy also has been doing live YouTube shows from there that go on for several hours.
You'd think Toronto could have something like that or the park in Montreal that has been there since 2012, or Runway Visitor Park in Manchester.
(and for the Island Airport.)
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I got a little note in the mail about this: Toronto Pearson will be temporarily closing Runway 06L/24R from April until late fall 2022

Toronto Pearson International Airport is embarking on one of the largest runway rehabilitation projects in its history. Starting in Spring 2022, the airport will begin- major work on 06L/24R, Toronto Pearson’s second-busiest runway, first built in the 1960s, to ensure the continued safe operation of the airport, and consequently the safety of passengers, employees and the communities we serve.


$$$ for updates and more studies on transit link.
I hope they finally implement smartgates, as they have in the UK, Australia, Germany, etc.
They keep upgrading the border kiosks at Canadian airports, yet all travellers then still need to line up to speak to a border agent.
What a mess... I know people who fly around the world regularly, they all say Pearson is one of the worst airports on the planet. I can see why.

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What a mess... I know people who fly around the world regularly, they all say Pearson is one of the worst airports on the planet. I can see why

Are they based in Toronto? Very few people like the airport (or highway or ...) they are forced to use frequently. Poor experiences make stronger memories than good experiences.
I can think of many airports that are far, far worse than Pearson.

In no particular order:
London Heathrow - Terminal 3
Charlotte Douglas International

In the Pre-Terminal three days at YYZ (think summer 1990) I can see how Pearson would be bad with poor food options across T1 and T2, Dark concrete departure gates with no windows at T2, Terminal one that always had a stench to it along with 45 minute to hour long gate holds particularly near midnight for Customs arrivals, and a passenger pick-up area that was maybe 100 metres long.

You haven't lived until you've raced to get a 249 passenger DC-8 with 20 carry on wheelchair passengers for a UK wheelchair rugby team boarded and loaded, already delayed seven hours, with ten minutes to go before an 01:00 hard curfew, ready to push only to have the airplane go mechanical on the push back and come back to the gate. There's only two of you to process hotel vouchers.

But today, I don't subscribe to the notion that Pearson is one of the world's worst - not even close on any day of the week. What you are seeing now is the same staffing challenges a lot of industries are facing due to a spool up from covid hiatus, staffing shortages relating to omicron as staff book off sick and some additional pandemic related screening issues. This is a particularly challenging industry to staff. You are asking people to work in harsh conditions, 24/7, usually part time or split shift hours with little benefits and something that is not easily transit accessible.

I call snowflake on those that think Pearson is the worst.
I was astonished by Phoenix's airport. It seemed like a giant greyhound terminal.
Are they based in Toronto? Very few people like the airport (or highway or ...) they are forced to use frequently. Poor experiences make stronger memories than good experiences.

Some of them are. I have clients mostly from Europe/Asia. I guess this life in a ‘post pandemic’ world. I have flown out of Pearson hundreds of times over the years. It's always been a bit of dysfunctional airport, even before the pandemic.

My sister flies to Vancouver for business a lot. She booked a flight out of Hamilton recently, took 10 minutes to clear security and get on the plane, so at least we have alternatives to Pearson for domestic travel. Also got the Island airport and Waterloo airport has flights so we have some other options.

Flying will not be on my agenda for a long time. Not worth all the headaches and potential disruption.