The Government of Canada introduced a bill that will bring economic and travel benefits to our region

News Release

Once the Preclearance Act is passed, a new preclearance site in Toronto will be on the short list for approval

June 23, 2016   Toronto, Ontario           Public Safety Canada

The Government of Canada remains committed to making it faster and easier to travel from Canada into the United States.

The Government is taking the necessary steps to enable more regions of the country to enjoy the travel and economic benefits of preclearance operations. We are building on the success of the existing Canada–U.S. air transport preclearance framework which makes air travel more efficient for almost 12 million passengers every year at eight of Canada’s busiest international airports.

Last Friday, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, announced the introduction of the Preclearance Act in the House of Commons. When passed, the bill will enable the implementation of the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine and Air Transport Preclearance between the Government of Canada and the Government of the United States of America. Once the Agreement enters into force, preclearance operations at new locations in the land, rail, marine and air modes, in Canada and the U.S. could be implemented.

The preclearance initiative builds on the significant progress made during the Prime Minister’s official visit to Washington. There, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama agreed in principle to expand preclearance to a number of new Canadian locations, including Quebec’s Jean Lesage International Airport, Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Airport, Montreal Central Station and the Rocky Mountaineer.

Quick Facts

  • During the Prime Minister’s official visit to Washington on March 10, 2016, Prime Minister Trudeau and President Obama agreed in principle to expand preclearance to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Quebec City’s Jean Lesage International Airport, Montreal Central Station and Rocky Mountaineer.
  • Existing preclearance operations enable travellers to enter the U.S. as domestic passengers and create a more comprehensive transportation network for them by giving them privileged access to non-international U.S. airports (i.e., those without customs and immigration facilities)
  • The Agreement can only enter into force once both countries have enacted the required implementing legislation. New preclearance operations, such as at Toronto’s Billy Bishop City Airport will require approval by both countries.


“A more efficient and secure border is good for economic growth and our shared prosperity. Preclearance at our airports has worked very well for Canadians, and that’s why our Prime Minister and President Obama committed to expand this system for the benefit of both our peoples. I’m very pleased that this agreement will directly support the Greater Toronto Area and one of Canada’s busiest and most-used airports.”

– Chrystia Freeland, Minister of International Trade, on behalf of Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness

“We are pleased to have Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport as one of the first to be included in the new and expanded preclearance agreement between Canada and the U.S. Further, we are excited by the opportunity to introduce the next generation in customer-oriented border crossing services at our airport, one that represents new efficiencies and enhanced technological utilization to the express benefit of our travellers. As the sixth busiest Canadian airport servicing the U.S., Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important gateway and an enhanced preclearance approach presents the ability to service U.S. markets more broadly and creates opportunity to add new markets within our existing slot structure and allocation which is good news for travellers and good news for trade relations between our two countries.”

– Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport 

“Porter Airlines flies more than 400,000 passengers annually to American destinations from Vermont to Florida out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The airport will be an important addition to the tremendously successful preclearance program, which benefits travellers, communities and businesses in both Canada and the United States. We look forward to the even greater convenience preclearance will provide consumers."

– Robert Deluce, President and CEO of Porter Airlines

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