Airport dropped after complaint of low ranking

Toronto’s Pearson airport is being dropped from a global review of airport efficiency after a complaint about its embarrassingly low ranking.



The president and CEO of the Greater Toronto Airports Authority demanded the removal of Pearson from the annual survey of more than 150 major airports in a toughly worded letter last August.


"Should you decline this request, I see no other recourse than to pursue all means at our disposal to receive fair treatment," Lloyd McCoomb warned the lead researcher at the University of British Columbia.

McCoomb cited a "total lack of academic rigor" and "unsupported findings" in the survey, saying the research was "threatening potential harm to our reputation."

The survey is published by an international research group of 13 academics, headed by Tae Oum, a business professor at UBC.

Oum said McCoomb’s "intimidating" letter rattled him and, fearing legal action, he consulted the university’s lawyer and others. In the end, the research group agreed to cut Pearson from the efficiency analysis in the 2008 edition of the survey, due in late May.

unflattering report

  • The 2007 edition of the report found Pearson was among the least efficient airports in the world, and its cost competitiveness was low. The survey noted aircraft landing fees at Pearson — Canada’s largest airport — are the highest in the world.