A group promoting the construction of a second major airport for Toronto at Pickering says current traffic management plans at Pearson are a recipe for delays and disruption in the future. Mark Brooks, of Friends of Pickering Airport, says the Greater Toronto Area Airports (GTAA) Master Plan envisions allowing the current airport facilities reach maximum capacity in the next 20 years and hope for the best when it comes to shoehorning the traffic in. “The GTAA is now planning for 100 percent runway utilization 17 hours a day with no slack,” he said in a blog post on the group’s Web site. “With no slack in the system there is no capacity to deal with unexpected events such as bad weather, delays at other airports or safety concerns such as turbulence or unruly passengers.”

Brooks said London Heathrow is already experiencing what he calls “planned congestion” and even though it has much less of the extreme weather routinely experienced at Pearson,  arriving aircraft are routinely put in holds before landing. Brooks said eventually it will be physically impossible for Pearson traffic to increase and his group believes there should be a proactive approach to addressing the inevitable problems.