Overwhelming Number Of Billy Bishop Airport Users Rate Their Experience As Positive

Toronto (September 4, 2013) – An annual survey released today by the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) reveals that 85 per cent of Toronto residents ‘agree’ that ‘Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important part of Toronto’s future economic growth’.
The public opinion survey, which was conducted by Ipsos Reid between July 29 and August 9, 2013, polled a representative, randomly selected sample of 700 adults living in Toronto, included 300 who live downtown, South of Queen Street. The TPA began these annual surveys in 2007.
“This year’s survey demonstrates that a large number of Torontonians are embracing the airport, and recognize its valuable contributions to the city. Torontonians are also in favour of exploring changes to the airport including Porter Airlines’ proposal to have the CS100 aircraft flying out of Billy Bishop Airport, which will be addressed by City Council over the coming months” said TPA President and CEO, Geoffrey Wilson.
“The Porter proposal requires careful consideration, and we understand why some thoughtful members of City Council are looking to the TPA as the airport’s operator for some insight regarding how we might tackle this important issue.” added Mark McQueen, TPA Chairman. “Later this Fall, the TPA will outline some of the benchmarks we will apply should we find ourselves in a position of having to formally consider the Porter Proposal. In the meantime, our staff will continue to support the work of Deputy City Manager John Livey and the rest of the City of Toronto team who are fully engaged on the issue.”
The survey reveals that a third of the city’s residents have flown out of the airport and that 96 per cent of these residents have had a positive experience travelling through Billy Bishop Airport. Of those polled, six in ten (60 per cent) Torontonians and 50 per cent of those living south of Queen support the use of jet aircraft at Billy Bishop provided they make no more noise than the current Q400 aircraft. Almost nine in ten (86 per cent) of those surveyed ‘agree’ that Billy Bishop Airport ‘is great for the economy of Toronto’ – including 81 per cent of those living downtown south of Queen. Additionally, most of the city’s residents (85 per cent) believe the airport is a great gateway, with the vast majority (87 per cent) saying it is a valuable asset for the city. 
The survey also shows that Torontonians believe the airport should make Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILTs) to the City of Toronto that are either the same (48 per cent) or lower (37 per cent) than what Pearson Airport pays to its host municipalities on a per passenger basis. On April 3, 2013, Toronto City Council rejected the advice of its Solicitor and Treasurer who recommended that Council accept the TPA’s offer of $0.94 per passenger for the airport’s PILT.  This is the same amount paid by Pearson Airport to its host municipalities. 
Some of the 2013 survey’s other key findings are:
  • Nearly nine in ten (87 per cent) Torontonians ‘agree’ that the airport is a valuable asset for the city of Toronto
  • The overall experience of passengers travelling through the airport has been positive (96 per cent)
  • One in three (32 per cent) Torontonians have used Billy Bishop Airport
  • The average Torontonian has used Billy Bishop Airport more than twice (2.1 times) and the average user has travelled through the airport on nearly seven occasions (6.7 times)
  • A majority of airport users (54 per cent) believe the Tripartite Agreement should be extended beyond 2033
  • A vast majority of Torontonians (82 per cent) agree that having the pedestrian tunnel project financed by fees collected by passengers, and not from taxpayers, is the right approach
  • Nine in ten (90 per cent) Torontonians ‘agree’ that ‘the Toronto Port Authority provides important economic benefits to the City of Toronto’
These are some of the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted on behalf of the Toronto Port Authority. For the survey, the representative randomly selected sample of 700 adults living in Toronto was interviewed by telephone. Ipsos Reid employed weighting to balance demographics and ensure that the sample’s composition reflected that of the adult population according to Census data.
A survey with an unweighted probability sample of this size and a 100 per cent response rate would have an estimated margin of error of sample of ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Toronto been polled. 
The margin of error would be larger within regions and for other sub-groupings of the survey population. All sample surveys and polls may be subject to other sources of error, including, but not limited to, methodology change, coverage error and measurement error.
About Ipsos Reid
Ipsos Reid is Canada's market intelligence leader and the country’s leading provider of public opinion research. With operations in eight cities, Ipsos Reid employs more than 300 research professionals and support staff in Canada. The company has the biggest network of telephone call centres in Canada, as well as the largest pre-recruited household and on-line panels. Ipsos Reid’s Canadian marketing research and public affairs practices are staffed with seasoned research consultants with extensive industry-specific backgrounds, offering the premier suite of research vehicles in Canada, including the Ipsos Trend Report, the leading source of public opinion in the country, all of which provide clients with actionable and relevant information. Ipsos Reid is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, visit www.ipsos.ca.
About the Toronto Port Authority (www.torontoport.com)
The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the Port of Toronto (Terminals 51 and 52), and Toronto's Outer Harbour Marina. In addition to moving more than two million passengers through the airport in 2012, the Port Authority provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port, and owns and operates Toronto’s largest freshwater marina. The Toronto Port Authority was incorporated on June 8, 1999 as a government business enterprise under the Canada Marine Act as the successor to the Toronto Harbour Commissioners.
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Media Contacts:

Toronto Port Authority Contact:
Pamela McDonald
Director, Communications and Public Affairs
Tel: (416) 863-2028 or (647) 405-8185 (mobile)
E-mail: pmcdonald@torontoport.com

Ipsos Reid Contact:
John Wright
Senior Vice President
Ipsos Reid 
Public Affairs
(416) 324-2002

Full tabular results are available at www.ipsos.ca or www.torontoport.com.