TPA issues formal Request for Proposals for additional carriers at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Appoints world's largest independent airport coordination organization to review formal business proposals and oversee slot allocation for additional airline service

The Toronto Port Authority ("TPA") today announced that a formal Request for Proposals ("RFP") for additional commercial airline carriers at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport ("BBTCA") has been issued and is now available to interested, qualified proponents.

"As the BBTCA evolves into a world-class city centre airport, it has been our stated objective to diversify the number of destinations offered in an effort to meet the demands of our business and leisure travellers," said Geoff Wilson, President and CEO of the TP A. "The issuance of the formal RFP is the next major phase of the transparent process that we outlined in December. We're excited about the opportunities and additional airline services that this RFP will generate for the people of Toronto, which follows the parameters stipulated by the Tripartite Agreement."

Request for proposals for additional carriers

To date, the TPA has received informal expressions of interest from Air Canada (which the carrier has publicly disclosed) and one U.S.-based commercial carrier. The TPA invites all qualified industry parties interested in providing carrier services at the BBTCA to participate in the RFP process.

"As the RFP contains commercially-sensitive information, and given that related court proceedings recently initiated against the TPA by Air Canada are ongoing, any party interested in receiving the RFP must first enter into a standard commercial non-disclosure agreement," added Mr. Wilson. "We are committed to respecting the confidentiality of all parties involved, and as such, the TPA will enter into the same form of non-disclosure agreement with each interested party to protect proprietary information contained in each new proposal."

Comprehensive slot allocation process

To review the formal business proposals received through the RFP process, the TPA also announced the appointment of Airport Coordination Limited ("ACL"), an independent consultancy firm specializing in demand and capacity assessment and scheduling process management, to manage commercial carrier demand and allocate available slots for the BBTCA.

"ACL is widely recognized as an expert in slot allocation and schedule coordination procedures," continued Mr. Wilson. "Given ACL's international experience and standing in the industry, we are confident that the highest standards will be followed."

ACL is the world's largest independent airport coordination organization, managing approximately 2.8 million aircraft movements each year through 29 international airports. The organization is the appointed coordinator for London City Airport, as well as four other major United Kingdom coordinated airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, Manchester and Stansted) and Dublin Airport. It also provides services to airports in Africa and the Middle East.

As part of its responsibilities as an independent slot coordinator for the BBTCA, ACL will implement a slot allocation methodology that is similar to those used at other North American airports such as Pearson, Vancouver, Newark Liberty, JFK, LaGuardia and Reagan.

Capacity assessment factors

The TPA also confirmed that it has received the final results from the capacity assessment report for the BBTCA conducted by a third-party consultant, Jacobs Consultancy, an US$l1 billion organization that is one of the world's largest providers of technical services. The study considered that existing BBTCA commercial carrier operations will utilize approximately 112 slots in the period leading up to the pending allocation of additional slots. After an extensive analysis that evaluated the key factors affecting airport operations, Jacobs Consultancy recommended that the maximum number of commercial slots available at the BBTCA is 202 upon the completion of the new terminal.

According to the Jacobs Consultancy analysis, which is based upon the 1983 Tripartite Agreement and obligations contained in existing agreements with incumbents, approximately 90 additional movements per day will be made available for allocation by ACL among the existing commercial carrier and new carriers at the BBTCA upon the successful completion of RFP process. The recent acquisition of the Marilyn Bell I, as well as the completion of the new terminal facilities, makes possible the increase in the number of slots available for allocation. Importantly, the 202 slot count is predicated upon the 1983 Tripartite Agreement and the necessary NEF Contour analysis, as it governs facility usage and ambient noise. Under the Tripartite Agreement, commercial and recreational flights are not permitted at the BBTCA between 11 p.m. and 6:45 a.m.

The current and earlier NEF Contour analyses heavily weigh Night Operations movements, which meaningfully and artificially lowered slot counts in prior years. Under the NEF Contour formula, a single operation between 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. (defined as a Night Operation) equates to approximately 16 Daytime Operation slots.

"We had a choice to make as an organization: provide for 90 additional Daytime movements and zero Night movements, or 10 Daytime movements and five Night movements," added Mark McQueen, Chairman of the TPA Board of Directors. "As the two new airline proponents have requested more than 100 slots between them, we had no choice but to maximize the number of slots available. We recognize that this approach did not produce the number of slots sought, but we are governed by the airport's limited footprint and the Tripartite Agreement. The decision to prohibit additional commercial Night Operations will uphold our curfew policy and minimize any impact on the Waterfront community."

Carbon offset efforts

To further mitigate the impact of the BBTCA's operations on the environment and its neighbouring communities, the TP A will be acquiring carbon offsets in the near term.

"The TPA intends to work with an internationally recognized firm to acquire sufficient carbon offsets to ensure that we mitigate 100 per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions generated by commercial carrier takeoffs and landings," continued Mr. McQueen.

The TPA will require the firm to provide carbon offset credits that are validated and verified in accordance with the world's leading carbon standards, including ISO 14064, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Clean Development Mechanism, The Gold Standard and Voluntary Carbon Registry.

This carbon offset effort is in addition to the TPA's January 28, 2010 announcement that it has signed on all of its operations for 100 per cent clean, renewable electricity with Bullfrog Power as part of a broad range of initiatives to be implemented in 2010 to promote environmental sustainability along Toronto's waterfront. Through Bullfrog Power, Canada's 100 per cent green electricity provider, TPA will green 10,295 megawatt hours of its electricity requirements annually.

"The BBTCA is an attractive facility for passengers and commercial carriers alike and we hope to receive a robust response to the RFP," continued Mr. Wilson. "All proposals provided in accordance with the RFP that are received on or before May 14,2010 will be evaluated on equal footing."

Interested qualified parties wishing to participate or consider participating in the RFP process should contact the TPA's Airport Director, Ken Lundy, by email at or by telephone at 416-203-6942.

The PDF of the Jacobs Consultancy capacity assessment report is available at:

Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Capacity and Slot report (click to download)

Jacobs Consultancy - Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport - Capacity and Slot Management(click to download)

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 City 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

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Background regarding the Jacobs Consultancy capacity assessment report

To determine the maximum number of commercial slots of 202 available under current conditions, the comprehensive analysis evaluated all key factors impacting airport operations, including:

  • 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
  • parking and transportation options to and from Eireann Quay
  • mix and types of commercial, private and leisure aircraft
  • helicopter and Medevac flights

Key factors impacting the final determination of the number of commercial slot figures included:

  • To minimize impact on the BBTCA's neighbouring community, all new commercial slots granted will be for "Daytime Operations". Daytime Operations as defined by Transport Canada and the Federal Aviation Administration are flights that operate between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
  • No new commercial slots will be awarded for the periods of 6:45 a.m. to 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. to 11 p.m., which are referred to as "Night Operations." The BBTCA does not permit scheduled commercial traffic between 11 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. At the present time, seven Night Operation slots are utilized by the existing commercial carrier. In 2009, the TPA issued a new Airport Directive which assessed a $10,000 fine for each commercial violation of the BBTCA's curfew policy; in prior years, a fine of $5,000 had been assessed for such instances. Five curfew violation fines were assessed in 2008 and 2009, all of which have been paid in full by the commercial carrier in question.
  • Aircraft used in commercial service must meet the noise limitations as specified in the Tripartite Agreement. Prior to commercial operation, carriers will be required to submit documentation from the International Civil Aviation Organization that proposed aircraft meet the stringent criterion stipulated in the Tripartite Agreement.
  • One hundred per cent of all BBTCA helicopter movements were accounted for in the NEF Contour study, including all Ornge Medevac flights. The TPA is proud to continue to provide an operating base for Ornge staff and their patients at the BBTCA, and no consideration has been given by the TPA to any change in that collaborative relationship. The TPA intends to work with non-Medevac helicopter service providers in an effort to further mitigate the impact these movements have on the neighbouring BBTCA community. This effort will include increased landing fees, higher fines for curfew violations and other airspace movements that contravene Airport Directives.
  • The physical capacity of the BBTCA itself, the new terminal, the Marilyn Bell 1 and the Passenger Ferry Terminals were also taken into consideration.