Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Generates More Than $2 Billion in Total Annual Economic Benefits for the Greater Toronto Area Study Finds

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Toronto (February 20, 2015) – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport continues to be a significant economic engine for the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), generating more than $2 billion in total annual economic output and more than 6,500 total jobs, including 1,960 jobs directly associated with the airport, according to an economic impact study released today by PortsToronto.
 
The updated study, conducted by InterVISTAS Consulting Group, a leading management consulting company with extensive expertise in economic and transportation research, concluded that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has become “a critical facilitator of the growth of trade and tourism between Toronto and North American centres.”
The economic output, jobs, GDP and wages generated by Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport all showed increases over the last report completed on the airport by InterVISTAS in 2012. Economic output grew by 10 per cent from $1.9 billion in 2012 to $2.1 billion in 2014.
 
“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is known for being a convenient transportation link into and out of the Toronto region, but it is also a strong and vital contributor to our city’s economy and the creator of high-quality employment,” said Geoffrey Wilson, CEO of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “The increases we have seen since the 2012 study are moderate in nature which is in line and entirely reflective of our managed growth approach to airport operations. We have committed to maintaining our current slot allocation to ensure that the airport remains in appropriate balance with the mixed-use waterfront. Our level of growth is deliberate and managed to ensure an ongoing balance between commercial and community interests.”
 
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport served 2.4 million passengers in 2014 and is the ninth busiest airport in Canada. The airport, which serves 20 destinations in Canada and the United States and hosts two major and award-winning commercial air carriers in Porter Airlines and Air Canada, has gained an excellent reputation for its superior customer service, fast check-in times, first-class lounge experience and convenient location close to Toronto’s downtown core. The airport is also a base for air ambulance service and is home to a sizable general aviation community that includes approximately 50 private planes and one flight school.
 
“Toronto continues to rank among the world’s leading cities for economic strength, commercial competitiveness and human capital,” said Toronto City Councillor Michael Thompson and Chair of Toronto's Economic Development and Culture Committee. “Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport not only provides a fast and efficient gateway to the city, it also provides high-quality jobs and boosts Toronto’s GDP.”
 
“Key industry clusters, from tourism and aerospace to human health sciences and finance, rely on and are supported by Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s critical connections to key markets in Canada and the United States,” said Jan De Silva, President & CEO, Toronto Region Board of Trade. “It’s clear from this update that through many important direct and indirect benefits the airport is a powerful contributor to the economic vitality of our region.”
 
The InterVISTAS report highlights that ongoing operations at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport generate total annual economic impacts of[1]:
  • $2.1 billion in economic output, a 10 per cent increase from 2012;
  • More than 6,500 jobs representing 6,220 person years of employment (1,960 of which are directly associated with Billy Bishop Airport);
  • $695 million in Gross Domestic Product (GDP);
  • $385 million in wages; and,
  • Overall tax revenue and Payments-in-Lieu of Taxes (PILTs) of approximately $74 million annually.
“Our research shows substantial value to the Toronto region from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” said Dr. Mike Tretheway, Chief Economist & Chief Strategy Officer, InterVISTAS. “Among city centre airports around the world, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides unusually high market connectivity, as well as providing two thousand on-site jobs with above-average wages. That makes the airport an important driver to the Toronto economy and, by virtue of Toronto’s dominant economic role domestically, the country overall.”
 
The study included a survey of businesses and organizations located at the airport and in the GTA. Sixty-seven per cent of the businesses and organizations contacted responded, representing nearly 90 per cent of the total direct person years of employment covered by the survey. The survey was conducted in fall 2014.
 
Note: This economic impact study is an ongoing initiative undertaken every two years. This report updates data gathered in 2012 and was commissioned independent of the process associated with the Environmental Assessment and the Master Planning Exercise currently underway as part of the Porter Proposal to introduce jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. However, this data may be used by external consultants, along with other relevant information and research, to report on overall impacts of the airport. This report, if used, would be only one of multiple studies consulted as part of the examination of impacts.   
 
An executive summary and a full copy of the report can be found at www.portstoronto.com or by clicking here.
 
PortsToronto (www.portstoronto.com)
For more than 100 years PortsToronto (formerly Toronto Port Authority) has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. A financially self-sustaining government business enterprise, PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $5.6 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.
 
InterVISTAS (www.intervistas.com)
InterVISTAS Consulting Group, headquartered in Canada, is a leading management consulting company with extensive global expertise in aviation and transportation.  It has successfully delivered projects in over 70 countries around the world and undertakes major studies in airport planning and economics. InterVISTAS has been at the forefront of research into the catalytic impacts of airports and is recognized as a leader in this field.
 
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Media Contact:
Erin Mikaluk
Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations
PortsToronto
Tel: (416) 863-2065; Cell: (647) 298-0544


[1] Results shown are total impacts, which include direct, indirect and induced multiplier impacts.