Second-busiest airplane runway set to reopen at Pearson Airport in Mississauga


Published October 13, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Pearson international airport recognized for accessibility.

A new and improved runway is on track to reopen next month at Pearson Airport in Mississauga after one of the biggest runway rehabilitation projects in the history of Canada’s busiest airport.

According to an online update prepared by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), which operates Pearson, “significant progress has been made on our Runway 06L/24R rehabilitation—one of the biggest in the airport’s history. The project (is now in) Phase 3.”

Phase 3, the project’s final phase, is scheduled to last until late November or early December. It’s focusing on repairs to the east end of the large runway.

The massive undertaking saw the airport’s second-busiest runway shut down in early April of this year for much-needed upgrades.

The GTAA says key work completed during Phase 2 focused on the middle portion of Runway 06L/24R, a three-kilometre-long east-west landing strip that was built in the 1960s and was in desperate need of upgrades to ensure aircraft and passenger safety.

It included a “full-depth replacement and lighting upgrade of runway and adjacent taxiways,” the GTAA says.

While that work was being completed, residential neighbourhoods to the north, south, east and west of Pearson experienced a “noticeable increase in aircraft overhead.”

Phase 1 of the project focused on the west end of the runway.

Pearson Airport shut down its second-busiest runway on April 4 for the major repairs. The wearing down of its concrete sub-structure due to weather conditions, use and time made repairs to the aging landing strip necessary.

The airport adds that the extensive work to be completed will “ensure the continued safe operation of the airport, and consequently the safety of passengers, employees and the communities we serve.”

According to the GTAA, the project will extend the life of the runway by 30 years and enhance safety of the strip as well.

The bonus, officials say, is the positive impact related to the environment. The runway overhaul is also expected to help the airport reduce its carbon footprint.

The GTAA says “modern innovation and advanced planning will allow Pearson to complete the project in eight months, and with a more sustainable approach.”

Furthermore, “the project will include the use of recycled materials and upgrades to 1,800 LED lights, which will help enhance safety and reduce its carbon footprint,” the GTAA said in an earlier statement. “Other environmentally friendly construction practices include using crushed concrete from the runway pavement removal for the sub-base and base materials, and recycled milling asphalt materials on approach roads in the vicinity of the runway.”

At the project’s official groundbreaking on April 25, GTAA president and CEO Deborah Flint said the undertaking is about building essential infrastructure needed for the economy of the region, the province and Canada.

As work continues on the runway rehabilitation project, travelers and area residents can expect some delays, disruptions and added aircraft noise.

And while scheduled flights will not be impacted by the runway closure, passengers may notice an increase in runway taxi times or longer waits at their gates.

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