PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, has announced that US Customs and Border Protection (US CBP) Preclearance will be introduced at the airport.
The facility will be operational in 2025, providing Billy Bishop Airport passengers with the opportunity to clear Customs in Toronto, rather than having to clear Customs upon landing at US airports. Preclearance will also open up new markets to the US, with travellers able to access smaller US airports that do not currently have US CBP and therefore cannot accept travellers that have not been precleared.
“PortsToronto and its partners, including Nieuport Aviation and Porter Airlines, have been working towards securing preclearance for nearly a decade, as it will further enhance the passenger experience by offering passengers the ability to clear Customs on home soil using next-generation technology intended to make the process quick and convenient,” said RJ Steenstra, President & CEO, PortsToronto. “Preclearance will also provide access to more US markets which will boost connectivity and bilateral trade and tourism between Toronto and the eastern US. This will have a tremendous economic impact on the city in terms of GDP, generating jobs, and attracting talent and investment. We are incredibly pleased and proud to confirm preclearance at the airport, and look forward to working with our partners to commence work immediately to have the facility open in 2025.”
There are currently 15 US CBP preclearance locations in six countries around the world. Eight Canadian airports currently offer preclearance, with Billy Bishop Airport becoming the ninth such facility.
The new facility will also offer next-generation technology, including facial recognition that is designed to make the process more efficient for travellers.
“Preclearance at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) will contribute immensely to the convenience and seamless experiences that passengers expect,” said Neil Pakey, CEO, Nieuport Aviation. “Today, YTZ provides connectivity to four US destinations, but with preclearance, travellers could see that number reach 15 or more. Whether it’s Bay St to Wall St or Yorkville to Soho, US Customs preclearance at Billy Bishop Airport will deepen business ties with our largest trading partner, while also boosting our visitor economy in Toronto by helping with conventions and exhibitions, hotel bookings and the night-time economy. But the benefits expand much further than Toronto, connecting Ontario and eastern Canada through our airport to critical markets in the United States. Our research shows that preclearance at Billy Bishop will stimulate $4.8 billion in economic impact, create 32,400 new jobs, and save the equivalent of $28 million in monetized time savings for passengers.”