Toronto's Pearson Airport lifts ground stop, cold weather results in major delays
Tuesday, January 7, 2014, 11:03 AM -
Dangerously cold weather continues to grip much of Ontario creating major travel frustrations at Toronto's Pearson International Airport Tuesday.
Officials said early that no planes were being allowed to land until about 9 am because of the problems the frigid temperatures were creating. Arrival restrictions were later extended until at least 10 am.
The ground stop was lifted before 11 am.
According to airport officials, the extreme cold was causing equipment freezing and safety issues for employees.
"Frozen equipment and safety issues at play," Toronto Pearson tweeted.
Just after 8 am, they tweeted "Departing flights can go as airlines are ready and planes are serviced. No arrivals at this time."
Extreme cold causing equipment freezing and safety issues for employees. Ground stop in effect until at least 9:00 am.— Toronto Pearson (@TorontoPearson) January 7, 2014
A ground stop was put into place, meaning aircraft were not being permitted to land.
The ground stop immediately created a backlog of planes waiting for gates to open to off-load passengers.
Long lineups were also reported inside the terminals.
Peel regional police say extra officers were called to the airport early Tuesday when a crowd of about 300 people around a luggage carousel in Terminal 3 became "irate" because they couldn't get their bags.
According to the WestJet website, baggage would have to remain on board some flights until "sometime Tuesday."
Airlines are urging passengers to check their flight status before heading to the airport because of the cancellations or delays.
Wind chills are expected to improve by Wednesday as temperatures begin to rise and winds finally ease.
By the weekend, some places will even see temperatures rise above the freezing mark.
With files from The Canadian Press