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Billy Bishop introduces Safe Travels Program

“The extraordinary impact of this crisis has required an equally extraordinary response on the part of the aviation industry.”


August 31, 2020
By Wings Staff
Billy Bishop’s primary commercial airline service provided by Porter and Air Canada has been temporary suspended since March 2020, providing the YTZ team with time to prepare a thorough COVID-19 safety response. (Photo: Billy Bishop, PortsToronto)

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport today introduced its Safe Travels Program in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The program, including operational measures and safety protocols, will be in place later this fall when Porter Airlines and Air Canada are expected to resume operations at Billy Bishop (YTZ).

The two airlines temporarily suspended commercial service from YTZ in March 2020 as a result of COVID-19. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019.

Billy Bishop explains its Safe Travels Program was developed under the guidance of provincial and federal agencies like Transport Canada and the Public Health Agency of Canada.

“The extraordinary impact of this [pandemic] has required an equally extraordinary response on the part of the aviation industry to ensure that passengers feel confident travelling again,” said Gene Cabral, executive VP, PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Airport. Cabral explains the temporary suspension of commercial airline service at YTZ allows its team “top step back and get this right.”

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YTZ notes the Safe Travels Program will complement programs in place with its resident airlines Porter Airlines and Air Canada; and is inclusive of all airport partners including Nieuport Aviation (terminal owners/operators); Stolport (parking); and government agencies CATSA (screening and security) and CBSA (border protection).

The current measures of the program, as described by YTZ, include:

• Requiring that face covering/masks be worn by all airport travellers and staff at the airport;
• Requesting that only travellers with boarding passes and airport staff enter YTZ, with exceptions made for those requiring special assistance;
• Designated ambassadors at key locations throughout the airport to facilitate passenger flow, communicate occupancy limits and answer questions;
• Occupancy limits implemented in close-proximity spaces such as elevators;
• Implementing clear physical distancing and directional signage throughout the traveller journey to provide information and guidance;
• Installation of Plexiglas and traffic-flow protocols at face-to-face interaction points;
• Touchless processing of passenger belongings and documentation to the greatest degree possible;
• All passenger touch points including counters and screening machines sanitized often;
• Enhanced cleaning procedures across all high-touch areas and in public spaces, including Foggers and Electrostatic Sprayers equipped with an all-natural, environmentally safe product that eliminates 99.99 per cent of viruses; and,
• Providing additional hand sanitization stations throughout the airport.