Toronto Port Authority provides update regarding ongoing Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport capacity assessment process.

Toronto Port Authority provides update regarding ongoing Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport capacity assessment process

Carrier demand and slot allocation process to start late February 2010

Toronto - In light of the recent legal action taken by Air Canada, the Toronto Port Authority ("TPA") reconfirmed that it continues to work towards the completion of the previously announced noise impact study and capacity assessment for the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport("BBTCA").

"Over the past few weeks, the TPA has worked diligently to ensure that all of the building blocks are in place for the addition of new carriers later this year as we continue to meet the public’s demand for air service at the BBTCA," said Mark McQueen, Chairman of the TPA Board of Directors. "As promised, the process remains open and transparent."

As announced in December 2009, the TPA will soon be in a position to not only release the final results of the capacity assessment process, but also appoint an independent International Air Transport Association (IATA)-accredited slot coordinator to responsibly manage carrier demand and slot allocations. The findings of the third-party capacity assessment will identify the number of daily commercial flights and equipment mix that can be accommodated at the airport during the coming years.

The independent, IATA-accredited slot coordinator will manage commercial carrier demand at the BBTCA and allocate available slots, as is standard practice at other North American airports. The slot coordinator will act as a neutral party during the commercial carrier negotiations and be responsible for awarding slots based on internationally recognized processes and consistent with the operational requirements of the BBTCA.

The comprehensive analysis currently underway by the TPA evaluated all key factors impacting airport operations, including:

  • the 1983 Tripartite Agreement
  • noise guidelines
  • hours of operation at the BBTCA and the impact of early morning and late evening flights on the neighbouring communities
  • terminal, runway and passenger ferry infrastructure limitations
  • the availability of parking and transportation options to and from Eireann Quay
  • mix and types of commercial, private and leisure aircraft
  • existing Bilateral Agreements between Canada and the United States of America
  • helicopter and MEDEVAC flights

In the coming days, the TPA will solicit formal business proposals for additional BBTCA airline service, while ensuring that the process continues to remain open and transparent," added Geoff Wilson, President and CEO of the TPA. "We met with representatives of Air Canada for the second time in January to review their preliminary plans for returning to the BBTCA. And just last week, Air Canada accepted the invitation of City Centre Terminal Corporation to tour the new airline terminal.

"Our objective remains simple: we want to increase and diversify the number of destinations serviced by the airport. There are many attractive short haul destinations that are currently not served by the BBTCA and we are anxious to continue improving choice and convenience for all travelers."

As outlined in the December 2009 Bulletin, the rapid increase in monthly traffic and the number of new carriers seeking access to the BBTCA, the capacity study also identified the need for the TPA to make further capital expenditures. Since then, the TPA has made several announcements regarding the initiatives it has or will be implementing to ensure BBTCA is able to accommodate the addition of new carriers, including:

  • $16 million of new infrastructure and environmental capital spending on January 13, 2010
  • christening of a new, larger ferry to service the BBTCA on January 22, 2010
  • 100 per cent of TPA operations will be Bullfrog Powered with 100 per cent clean, renewable electricity on January 28, 2010
  • initiating a Public-Private Partnership process to construct a pedestrian tunnel to the BBTCA on January 29, 2010
  • releasing the results of a comprehensive Noise Management Study at the BBTCA on February 8, 2010

-In conjunction with this report, the TPA is holding a session with members of the community on February 17, 2010 to review the study’s findings.

"Over the past month alone, the TPA has made five separate public announcements regarding our commitment to making improvements to the airport’s capacity, environmental footprint and noise mitigation strategy at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport ," continued Mr. McQueen. "We regret that Air Canada has taken this unnecessary legal step, but we are scrupulously following our previously announced process."

About the Toronto Port Authority

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. It is a federal public authority providing transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses. The TPA owns and operates the Billy Bishop Toronto Centre Airport, Marine Terminals 51 and 52, and the Outer Harbour Marina. The TPA also provides regulatory controls and public works services to enhance the safety and efficiency of marine navigation and aviation in the port and harbour of Toronto.

Further information about the TPA is available at