Government of Canada invests in building a United States preclearance facility at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

News release

June 30, 2023                Toronto, Ontario                Transport Canada

As Canada continues to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, unique investments in our airport infrastructure continue to be crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for business and leisure travellers, workers and communities. Government of Canada investments also help ensure Canada's aviation industry is well-positioned to recover from the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, announced an investment of up to $30 million to build a new preclearance facility at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport for United States-bound travellers. The new facility will build capacity for Toronto’s growing business and leisure passenger volumes transiting through Canada’s largest city.

Fast and secure movement of people and goods across the United States border is key to boosting tourism, business, and trade. The Government of Canada’s contribution builds on investments made by Ports Toronto, and the new preclearance facility will provide important benefits to Canadians and the air sector by:

  • increasing security and connectivity for business and leisure travellers using the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport;
  • reducing airport congestion and transportation bottlenecks by increasing Canada’s complement of airport pre-clearance facilities; and
  • improving fluidity and capacity in the transportation system.


“The investment in the new United States preclearance facility for the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport will provide travellers in the Greater Toronto area more options when flying to the United States and will support the reduction of airport congestion. Investing in this facility is great news for the airport and for Canadians!"

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

 “Canada has what the world wants, and we look forward to welcoming everyone back to our shores. Today’s announcement of a new US preclearance facility at Billy Bishop Airport is a major step towards helping our tourism industry soar to new heights. By streamlining the entry process for international travelers, we send a strong message that Canada is open for business, adventures, and unforgettable experiences. Let us seize this opportunity to place our nation firmly on the global tourism map, all while building an economy that works for everyone.”

The Honourable Randy Boissonault
Minister of Tourism

“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,” said RJ Steenstra, President & CEO, PortsToronto. “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, jobs and attracting talent. 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.”

Roelef-Jan (RJ) Steenstra
President and CEO
PortsToronto, Billy Bishop Airport Owner and Operator

Quick facts

  • A United States preclearance facility is a space in a designated Canadian location that enables United States-bound passengers to complete all United States immigration, customs, and agriculture inspections at Canadian airports prior to departure and admissibility into the United States.

  • This investment supports actions from the Task Force to Improve Services to Canadians by improving the flow of people and transborder business travel from Toronto.

  • In 2016, Canada and the United States signed the Agreement on Land, Rail, Marine, and Air Transport Preclearance, agreeing in principle to expand preclearance operations to select locations in Canada, including Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

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Nadine Ramadan
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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