The Toronto Pearson Noise Management Office periodically publishes advisories and notices for resident awareness of airfield construction, airport activities, and engagement opportunities that could have an impact on normal airport traffic operations and aircraft noise impacts on the community. Please check this page regularly for updates.
Have you noticed a small blue and white aircraft flying low and circling around Toronto Pearson? This is likely NAV Canada conducting routine flight inspections on the Instrument Landing Systems (ILS).
ILS are electronic navigational aids that help guide pilots to the airport’s runways. As regulated by Transport Canada, the ILS systems at Toronto Pearson must be inspected every four months to ensure accuracy, with longer annual tests to ensure the equipment is certified for use. If significant work is conducted on an ILS, a flight inspection must be conducted to ensure system verification.
The inspections usually last between 30 minutes and 5 hours. We appreciate your patience.
Runways are assigned based on the following factors: wind direction and wind speed, runway conditions/availability, operational efficiency and time of day. As the prevailing winds are from the west, the most common runway configuration at Toronto Pearson supports a westerly flow, which means arrivals from the east and departures to the west using Runways 23, 24 Left, and 24 Right. The second most common configuration supports an easterly flow - arrivals from the west and departures to the east using Runways 05, 06 Left and 06 Right.
Although aircraft can use runways that are not directly aligned with the wind direction in calm wind conditions, once the speed of a crosswind reaches a certain threshold, only runways that are aligned with the wind direction are safe for arriving and departing aircraft.
Friction is reduced in wet or snow covered runway conditions and so the crosswind speed threshold for arriving and departing aircraft is lower than under dry runway conditions. In these conditions there are more “into the wind” runway assignments for arrivals and departures than in drier conditions. Additionally, anti-ice treatment and snow clearing of runways means that a runway can be temporarily unavailable requiring alternate runway assignment.
Find out more about Winter Operations and Runway Selection.
View the archived advisories previously issued by the Toronto Pearson Noise Management Office.