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Toronto (June 8, 2016)
– Beginning this summer, a rehabilitation initiative will commence on the airfield at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The initiative is a significant three-year construction project that will involve the majority of airfield surfaces at the airport including the active main runway 08-26 which is used by the majority of our stakeholders including our commercial carriers Air Canada and Porter Airlines. The initiative is necessary to replace the existing aging civil and electrical infrastructure (pavements and lighting) for the airport’s runways, taxiways and apron areas. The work to be undertaken on the main runway will be a “shave and pave” process that will restore the surface of the existing runway. The length of the runway will not change or be affected. The construction is expected to commence at the end of June and a website (www.BillyBishopAirfieldProject.com
) has launched in advance of the commencement of work to provide information, updates and advance notice on construction activities. All construction will take place on the airside of the airport (island-side south of the terminal).
Given that a portion of construction activities will take place during night-time hours when the airport is closed to aircraft traffic, PortsToronto has implemented a number of measures to minimize the impact of construction activities on local residents including limitations on construction vehicle access, construction-related noise and lighting.
In order to reduce the traffic through the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood, this project will transport the majority of equipment and materials to the site by barging it from PortsToronto’s Marine Terminal yard in the Port lands to a temporary dock on the east side of the airport. This procedure will ensure minimal impacts on local residents as well as travellers related to construction traffic. Similarly, the contractor is implementing procedures that minimize the need for reversing construction equipment and therefore noise from back-up alarms. Water trucks will ensure dust suppression during construction activities. Lighting for night-time operations will be directed downwards and away from neighbourhoods.
The project scope will also include the decommissioning of Runway 15‑33 and its conversion to a taxiway as well as the plan for construction of a Ground Run-up Enclosure (GRE), a facility which reduces the noise associated with aircraft engine ground maintenance run-ups. A GRE is a three-sided, open-top facility, able to accommodate an aircraft while maintenance mechanics conduct high power engine run-up inspections. This will be only the second such enclosure in Canada. PortsToronto is currently working with City staff to receive final approval on the GRE with a public meeting
scheduled for June 28.
The project team is led by PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport staff. PortsToronto has engaged WSP Canada Inc., one of the leading Canadian and global aviation consulting firms to provide technical services including construction phase inspection services for this project. The general contractor for the project is Pave-Al Limited, a locally based, general construction contractor with an excellent reputation in completing airfield projects of this scope. More information on the project, schedules and team can be found at www.BillyBishopAirfieldProject.com
In addition to the airfield rehabilitation and the GRE, PortsToronto will also commence a study to re-examine placement and construction of a second noise barrier. Over the last several months PortsToronto has consulted with community liaison representatives and waterfront stakeholders on the importance of considering the visual aspects associated with effective noise mitigation barriers at the airport. With the feedback received from these groups, PortsToronto will re-engage acoustic engineers and visual planners later this summer to explore additional opportunities, optimal locations and alternative construction materials for a potential barrier that maximizes the efficiency of noise mitigation efforts, yet does not impede views from the mainland.
These initiatives are being undertaken in an effort to modernize the airport and ensure it continues to serve as an economic engine for the city as well as providing efficient service to the 2.5 million passengers who travel through the airport each year, while investing in noise mitigation that will benefit the surrounding community and demonstrates PortsToronto’s commitment to balance within a mixed use waterfront.