Toronto (November 28, 2013)
– The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) has received a copy of the staff report prepared for Toronto City Council regarding the April 2013 proposal tabled by Porter Airlines. The TPA’s position remains that it will not consider any change of use to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport until a determination is first made by the elected representatives on Toronto City Council regarding Porter's proposed changes to the 1983 Tripartite Agreement. Until Council makes a determination, the cost of additional studies of Porter’s proposal would be unwarranted.
“Based on the information provided to the City of Toronto by its independent consultants, the TPA believes City Council is now in a position to come to a decision on the concept, before further work continues on all of the necessary elements that would arise as a result of the implementation of Porter’s proposal,” said TPA Chairman Mark McQueen. “Council needs to decide if the proposal merits approval, before it spends any further TPA funds on all of the necessary elements that would be required regarding the implementation of the concept. Unfortunately, no amount of new infrastructure improvements will ever satisfy the small group of City Councillors who want to close the airport once and for all. For those Councillors who recognize the positive economic impact of Billy Bishop Airport, we believe they have sufficient information to vote on the specific topic of amending the Tripartite Agreement to permit or deny next generation jet aircraft. Council will have another opportunity in 2014 to review and approve all of the necessary plans that would naturally follow such a decision, before it is formally implemented.”
As stated in April 2013 and again at the Toronto Region Board of Trade in October 2013, the TPA is a committed to an effective and collaborative working relationship with the City of Toronto, a joint partner under the Tripartite Agreement to continue to improve the airport for the benefit of the community and stakeholders. The TPA stands behind its ongoing efforts to be responsive to the community while balancing the need for greater efficiencies of the airport’s operations.
The 1983 Tripartite Agreement that governs Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provides strict criteria for all daily operations and is one of the most stringent governing agreements of any airport in North America. The TPA has an operational plan for Billy Bishop Airport under the partnership of the Agreement and has run the airport within established parameters for the past 30 years. Based on the City report, the Bombardier CS100 is expected to meet the stringent noise requirements. Only jets that meet these requirements and are certified can be considered.
The TPA considers appropriate and reasonable capital investments in groundside infrastructure at Billy Bishop Airport and strongly believes this work should be best done in concert with the City’s overall planning strategy for the redevelopment of the Canada Malting site.
On February 13, 2013, the TPA wrote to the City highlighting the requirement for a 50-year extension of the airport’s lease beyond 2033. This would accommodate longer-term capital requirements and planning. Billy Bishop provides substantial economic benefits to Toronto and, as acknowledged by City staff, is a valuable asset to the city.
Billy Bishop Airport expects regulatory amendments will establish additional requirements for runway safety. The by-product of this is expected to result in mandatory Runway End Safety Areas (RESAs) for all major Canadian airports (which are an overrun area for aircraft) and may be required at the airport regardless of the outcomes of Porter’s proposal.
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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