This all started a few days go when I initially saw the article (at https://www.cbc.ca/news/business/toronto-pearson-airport-delays-1.6534360) where we are given ‘Toronto’s Pearson airport has a PR problem: It’s known as the worst airport in the world’ the article was one that had been around since October 2022, as such I reckon they wanted to pour salt on the wound. I am more of a solution kind of man, I wanna find out what the target makes it tick. Yet in the heart of the matter for any service set location, it tends to boil down to two elements. Resources and funding. The heart of the matter always boils down to these two, there tends to be no alternative. As such when it comes down to an airport, especially an essential one like the one for a village the size of Toronto, things did not make much sense to me. So lets take a look at the article.
“Disgruntled travellers passing through Pearson are posting about their bad experiences on social media, complaining about long line-ups, flight disruptions and missing baggage.” There are three items on this list line-ups, flight disruptions and missing baggage. The flight disruptions are put aside. Flight disruptions can have all kinds of reasons and none of them need to be the airport (not a given). But the other two are, as such I focus on them.
Luggage on the left
Yes, we all see luggage as a massive number one issue and besides my encounter with British Airways in 1998, I never had an issue with it. That is one issue in 25 years and the delay was send to my front door 12 hours later, as such not really an issue. But so many complaints tends to be noticed and there is a simple path The path is from plane to pickup point. Something does not add up for this many complaints to come to the surface. So when did Pearson makes its last assessment? There are logistical elements and manpower elements. The logistical is the hardware moving luggage from point one to point you and that consists of trolleys and runways. The trolleys are man operated and the runways are automated, but something in these two elements is not aligned. The people have managers and the runways have optional tag readers. Something here does not work properly and that is how I see this oversimplified in mere minutes. And this is not rocket science. The setting of plane to destination point with a suitcase has a few simple elements. So what aren’t they seeing?
The simplest of reasons could be seen by trying to set a report from students from the University of Toronto to create a business Intelligence report on how to improve this path and how toe create rollback points. This took less than 10 minutes, the report might take a few weeks, but the score of this airport hasn’t changed in a while and the title ‘Toronto’s Pearson Airport is a special circle of hell. The worst airport experience ever’ should have been looked at some time ago. So was the first element funding or resources? Optionally a mix of both, so why do we look at this now, what has Deborah Ale Flint flint done? She was the big wig for almost 3 years now. Is it manpower, IT, hardware failures, something does not add up and this title needs addressing.
Lining up towards tomorrow
This tends to be resources, either manpower or check in points (which might be funding). When was it last looked at? How many check points are there and how many passengers do they deal with? Then there is the side setting that lineups are from departure and arrival, the departure points are the airlines problem, the arrival is customs and passport check. I am more interested in arrivals as they are on the airport. Are there enough arrival points? One source gives me that there are over 1000 daily departures from the Toronto airport and there is daily service to more than 180 destinations across 6 continents. 1000 flights implies up to 300,000 people every day. This gets us to 12,500 an hour. As such you need to process over 200 a minute. This implies 15-24 passport gates, are they there? How many gates are there to process passports? Then there is the IT and logistics and making sure that 20 are operational gates at pressure times is a minimum. So is this funding or resources? It is not directly a given, but it is either the gates or the people, people is funding (and availability), the other one is funding. How many gates are there and how long have they been there? Is the IT properly working, are the scanners up to date? All simple questions and I saw this in minutes. I am not an authority, but in my time I travelled by air 26 weeks a year, as such I have seen my share of airports and for the most I never had an issue, some waiting time in Heathrow, but a place that big, some waiting time is to be expected and still I got through it in mere minutes. So why is Pearson an issue?
Both could have been driven to the surface with BI students at the University of Toronto. I saw that in minutes and I cannot say what they will find, yet I believe it is enough to give Pearson Airport the ability to shed the title ‘The worst airport experience ever’ which is a really bad achievement to have. So whilst we mull over “The airport’s troubles have also been featured in major international publications this month, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC.” What was actually done to address the issue? I never saw the articles and I do not have to, they tend to be emotional driven and it is facts that we need to look at. Any BI analyst knows this, the numbers speak and they tend to push the ugly parts to the surface.
Perhaps I am oversimplifying the matter, but something needs to be done, I believe I pushed that element to the surface, in case people were blind for the obvious. The idea that the worst airport is a Commonwealth one offends me, that is something we leave to the Yanks at best, or a Russian or Asian airport we do not care for, the idea that Pakistan has better airports than Canada, should also appeal to the dark side of Canadian pride, but that might be merely me, as I said, oversimplification gets people mad and that results in actions.
Have a nice flight (or day).