Pearson’s second busiest runway reopens after 8-month rehab

The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), operator of Toronto Pearson International Airport, has reopened Runway 06L/24R, the airport’s second-busiest runway, after an eight-month rehabilitation. The project was billed as one of the largest in Pearson’s history.  

Omar Alghabra, Federal Transport Minister, joined GTAA President and CEO Deborah Flint, along with local elected officials, the many GTAA teams responsible for the rehabilitation, and representatives from Dufferin Construction and Avia NG for a ribbon-cutting to mark the re-opening.

“It’s great to see the reopening of Runway 06L/24R after eight months of rehabilitation,” said Minister Alghabra. “As the busiest airport in Canada and one of the busiest in North America, the return of this runway at Pearson Airport will keep air passengers moving safely and smoothly in and out of the GTA. As the air sector continues to move through post-pandemic recovery, investments like this one in our transportation infrastructure will help us ensure that we maintain a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector.”

First built in the 1960s, the 3-km runway needed to be fully reconstructed due to the wearing down of its concrete sub-structure as a result of weather, use and time. The project extends the life of the runway by 30 years. While the work lasted eight months, from April to November 2022, planning began over a year-and-a-half ago.

Officials said the  rehabilitation exemplifies Pearson’s commitment to environmental sustainability. Concrete from the original runway was crushed and reused for the new runway. Upgrading 1,800 incandescent lights to LED lights as part of this project will help reduce Pearson’s carbon footprint and lower maintenance costs.

The construction of an on-site batch plant reduced the need to truck concrete to the rehabilitation site and reduced GHG emissions. 

Two of only three 12-foot pavers in existence in Canada were used for the rehabilitation, helping to reduce the overall timeline of the project and associated emissions.

“This runway is more than a marvel of modern engineering, as amazing as it is,”added Flint. “It paves the way for the next 30 years of YYZ stimulating Canada’s economy by facilitating trade, foreign direct investment, tourism and business. This runway is more than a place where planes land and take off; it’s emblematic of a brighter future, both for Toronto Pearson and Canada through the global connections and economic activity it enables.”

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