Billy Bishop Toronto City airport is to become the ninth Canadian airport to have US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) preclearance facilities.
Owner PortsToronto confirmed that up to $30 million in funding for the facility at the city’s downtown airport will be provided by the federal government, with construction expected to take between 18 and 24 months.
Once the preclearance facility opens in 2025, passengers will be able to clear customs before departure from the airport, rather than upon landing in the US.
It will also open up new US markets from Billy Bishop Toronto City airport, as some smaller airports in the US do not have US CBP, and so cannot accept travellers who have not been precleared.
The airport will join Canada’s Calgary International, Edmonton International, Stanfield International, Trudeau International, Macdonald-Cartier International, Pearson International, Vancouver International and Winnipeg James Armstrong Richardson International in having US CBP preclearance.
There are currently 15 preclearance locations in six countries worldwide, including Dublin and Shannon airports.
Commenting on the news RJ Steenstra, president and CEO, PortsToronto, said:
“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.
“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.”
Last month Air Canada unveiled a new co-branded facility at Billy Bishop Toronto City airport in partnership with Aspire Lounges.
Referred to as the Aspire | Air Canada Café, the space is located in the airport’s domestic departures area, with seating for up to 133 guests.