The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol - Official Visits Division) presents its compliments to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada and has the honour to refer to the matter of lounge access at Lester B. Pearson International Airport, Toronto, for high level guests to Canada benefiting from courtesy and expedited clearances.
The Department wishes to clarify that while there is a government owned and operated lounge at the MacDonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa, all other VIP lounges in Canadian airports are privately owned commercial lounges for which the Department does not have unlimited access.
The Department wishes to advise that while greeters will continue to be escorted into the Customs Hall in all airports across Canada to greet their guests on arrival, the Department will no longer be in a position to provide commercial lounge access to greeters bidding farewell at Lester B. Pearson International Airport. Farewells at this airport will now take place prior to entering the secure zone as is consistent with policies in place in the majority of Canadian airports.
Furthermore, access to a commercial lounge for delegation members will depend on the class of ticket purchased and/or having a lounge pass. Delegation members holding tickets not entitling them to the use of a commercial lounge will be invited to go directly to the gate to await their flight, though diplomatic missions and consular posts are welcome to make their own arrangements directly with the airline. Lounge passes may be available for a fee at the airline’s discretion. It should also be noted that the Department’s representatives may not be able to obtain boarding passes and baggage tags prior to the arrival of the delegation, depending on the airline selected for travel.
The Department wishes to assure Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada that it will continue to make every effort to ensure the smooth movement of high level guests through Lester B. Pearson international Airport and furthermore, would be grateful to Their Excellencies for disseminating the above information to its consular posts established in the Greater Toronto Area.
The Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade (Office of Protocol - Official Visits Division) avails itself of this opportunity to renew to Their Excellencies the Heads of Diplomatic Missions and Chargés d'affaires, a.i. accredited to Canada the assurances of its highest consideration.
OTTAWA, May 10, 2012