A year after delays at Canada’s busiest travel hub made international headlines, the airport’s top boss promised this summer will be different.

“The anxiety, the uncertainty, the frustration, and the lack of control that was felt by passengers last year is one that we will never forget,” Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) President and CEO Deborah Flint said Monday.

“We want Torontonians, Ontarians, and Canadians, and travellers from around the world to know that this summer will be very different and better than summer 2022.”

Staffing will be key to delivering on that promise, Flint said.

This year, there are 10,000 more employees at Toronto Pearson International Airport, which brings the total number of workers to 50,000. Of those new employees, Flint said 130 will be dedicated to busing, baggage handling, and terminal operations.

Baggage systems at the airport, which caused headaches for many passengers last summer, are also now “more resilient” thanks to AI, which anticipates and prevents overloading and potential breakdowns, she said.

Monday’s pledge is a big one, specifically because Pearson expects to take on 10 per cent more passengers in the next few months than it did in 2022.

According to Flint, Pearson saw a 70 per cent return to 2019 passenger volumes (50 million travellers) at the end of last year. This year, it expects to hit 80 per cent.

The problems at Pearson seen in the summer months of 2022, due in part to staffing issues and COVID-19 travel measures that were still in effect at the time, made headlines across the globe following months of delays, flight cancellations, and lost baggage.

Pearson has been working to make those issues a thing of the past in the last 12 months with the introduction of new security protocols, improved landing procedures, and increased public access to operational information throughout the airport.

“Not to say that air travel will be perfect. It is travel after all. We know there will be disruptive weather, there will still be some pandemic spillover effects like labor softness. But collectively, we are far more prepared,” Flint said.