Meet Tony, Gate Planner, recently featured in Toronto Pearson International Airport’s Facebook series #PeopleOfPearson
Jul 01, 2018

"I started working at Toronto Pearson in 1988, fresh out of high school. I got my first job with Air Canada as a Cabin Service and Cleaning Attendant in 1989. Today I am a Gate Planner with Air Canada—it’s been 28 years with the company.

I came to the airport because I love airplanes, but as you go along you try to find other things that will interest you. That’s how I came to gate planning. Itwas scary at first because I didn’t know what to expect, but I enjoy it a lot. I started on midnights and did that for a little while before jumping over to days and afternoons.

I take our day-of schedule and put it together like a puzzle, planning flights to the appropriate gates that can accommodate the aircraft. We have two gate planners on shift. One plans in real-time while the other person plans for later in the day. As soon as I walk through the door on my morning shift, I have roughly 90 minutes to plan for all the Air Canada aircraft that arrive and depart from 1400 to 2200 that day. After that, I’m continuously monitoring our flights four hours and beyond and adjusting the gate plan if needed.

We have about 700 inbound and outbound aircraft in a day at Toronto Pearson. I have a certain number of gates and aircraft to work with, and everything needs to flow properly as not all aircraft types fit on every gate When an aircraft comes in, I need to know what gate it will occupy in the morning and when it needs to come off for parking so we can use that gate again.

Between gating and towing aircraft, it’s a constantly moving puzzle that never stops thanks to aircraft changes, route changes, upgauges or downgauges. If an aircraft has a mechanical issue, we’ll get a new one, but if it’s a different size, it may need a new gate. If you can put a puzzle together and do it well, that comes in handy. When it flows, that’s my favourite part of the job."

- Tony, Gate Planner for Air Canada at Toronto Pearson International Airport


 Pearson International Airport’s Facebook Series