Toronto Pearson International Airport, or Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport straddling Mississauga’s northeastern boundary with neighboring Toronto, is Canada’s busiest airport and part of the National Airports. In 2005 the Toronto Pearson International Airport was ranked 29th among the world’s busiest airports, handling 29.9 million passengers and the 23 rd busiest airport for aircraft movements with 409,401.
Toronto Pearson International Airport serves the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and is the primary hub for Air Canada although Montreal is its main base. Formerly run by Transport Canada, Toronto Pearson International Airport is now run by a non-profit agency called the Greater Toronto Airports Authority.
Toronto Pearson International Airport first opened in 1939 as Malton Airport. It was renamed Toronto International Airport in 1960, and then to Lester B. Pearson International Airport (LBPIA) in 1984 in honor of Lester B. Pearson, Canada’s 14 th prime minister.
On December 2, 1966, operational control of the airport passed from the Government of Canada to the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) as part of the National Airports Policy. The full name of the airport, according to the GTAA, is now “Toronto Pearson International Airport”, but it is also sometimes simply called “Pearson.” News media and travel agents typically refer to the airport as “Lester B. Pearson International Airport”.
In 1972, the Canadian government expropriated land east of Toronto for a second major airport, Pickering Airport, to relieve congestion at (then) Toronto International. The project was postponed in 1975 due partly to community opposition, but GTAA revived the plans in 2004.
After the September 11, 2001 attacks Toronto Pearson International Airport was part of Operation Yellow Ribbon, as it received 19 of the diverted flights that were coming into the United States, even though Transport Canada and NAV CANADA instructed pilots to avoid the airport as a security measure.
Toronto Pearson International Airport is located about 32 km west of downtown Toronto. Most of Pearson (including its passenger terminals and airplane facilities) is in Mississauga, but a small eastern portion of land is located in Toronto. Toronto Pearson International Airport is accessible from Highway 427 (just north of the Highway 401 interchange) or from Highway 409, a spur off Highway 401 leading directly into the airport.
Bus services connecting Toronto to Toronto Pearson International Airport include two Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) routes, an express running from Kipling subway station and a local route from Lawrence West station, the latter also continuing beyond the airport t Malton. GO Transit operates a semi-express bus from Yorkmills and Yorkdale stations, and there is a privately operated “Airport Express” bus serving various major downtown hotels. Mississauga Transit operates a city bus from the Square One Shopping Center in Mississauga’s in city centre, likewise continuing on to Malton.
In July 2006, the LINK Interterminal Shuttle people mover was opened, with two 6-car trains running between Terminals 1 and 3, and a reduced rate and airport staff parking lot on the other side of Airport Road at Viscount Drive.