No more slots misery at Toronto

By David Mumford


The ongoing slots-related misery at CYYZ/Toronto airport looks like it may be coming to an end. 

The airport has always required GA/BA flights to obtain slots for flights operating overnight (0030-0630 local time), but in mid-Feb 2019 they made this a requirement for flights H24.

This was a new system, and there were a few teething problems, the main one being that operators had to do everything themselves, as local handlers were not allowed to arrange slots on their behalf. Added to that, unless you were a Toronto-based operator, you could only request slots 3 days in advance!

But the system has now changed, with the airport authority saying that local handlers are now allowed to arrange slots on behalf of all operators. Of those local handlers, Skyservice has decided not to provide this service, but Skycharter & Signature say they can arrange slots for operators up to 30 days in advance

If you do want to arrange slots yourself instead of getting a local handler to do it for you, that’s still an option, but you will only be able to request these 3 days in advance. Various flight planning providers have said they can arrange these slots for operators too, but they all seem to be restricted to 3 days too. Toronto is a busy airport, and this restriction may mean that you won’t be able to get the arrival/departure times that you want.

If you want to try doing it yourself, the official guidance is here. But for a 6 second overview of how it works, we’ve made this handy gif.

So if, like Luke Skywalker, the thought of trying to arrange Toronto slots yourself fills you with terror and despair – get in touch with Skycharter or Signature, and spare yourself some misery.

One last thing to note: Toronto still has a curfew between the hours of 0030-0630L. If you need to arrive between those hours, you need to contact the after-hours slot team (+1-416-776-3480), who will consider your request. But watch out! For ops approved during the curfew hours they usually charge you around 20 times the landing fee!

If you have further info to report, please do! Email us at, or comment below.

Other interesting stuff at CYYZ/Toronto:

  • All the approach charts now make reference to a new procedure, implemented in Feb 2019, called Continuous Descent Operations (Jepp chart 10-2). This is designed to help reduce airport noise levels, and involves aircraft flying a continuous descent in the lowest power and drag configuration possible. ATC may instruct pilots to do this during daytime and evening periods when traffic is relatively light. More info
  • Updated advice has been issued about the runway selection criteria at Pearson. When the north-south runways are in use (RWY 15/33) the airport sees an arrival capacity reduction of around 40%. So crosswind component guidelines have been included in AIC 12/19 for dry, wet and contaminated runways.

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