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Pearson International Airport Announces Changes To Deal With Extreme Weather

04/10/2014 05:21 EDT | Updated 04/10/2014 05:59 EDT
Rene Johnston via Getty Images
TORONTO, ON - JANUARY 20: Air Canada planes get de-iced on the tarmac by crews at Pearson International Airport in Toronto. Toronto is back under a cold weather alert, causing yet more flight delays and travel havoc. January 20, 2014. (Rene Johnston/Toronto Star via Getty Images)

TORONTO - Canada's busiest airport is changing how it deals with extreme winter weather and other disruptions after a deep freeze earlier this year triggered a partial shutdown that slowed travel for days.

The Greater Toronto Airport Authority has issued a dozen recommendations to improve operations at Pearson International Airport after reviewing the January incident.

One would have the airport buy more equipment to handle "unusual" winter weather, while another would boost snow and ice removal to give planes better access to gates.

The airport declared a so-called "ground stop" on Jan. 7 after wind chill readings hovered around the -40 C mark.

That prevented North American flights from landing for more than eight hours, causing hundreds of flights to be cancelled.

The GTAA said at the time that the decision was made because of how the cold was affecting equipment and to minimize time outdoors for employees.

Vijay Kanwar, chair of the agency's board of directors, later apologized for the delays.

"This review and its actions will help enhance passenger well-being and will improve communications with our passengers," he said Thursday in releasing the results of the review.

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