Toronto (October 8, 2014) – On October 9 and 10, 2014, boats may be observed within the Marine Exclusion Zone (MEZ) on Lake Ontario near the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. The boats will be operated by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and will carry a team of biologists that will enter the MEZ to collect baseline aquatic habitat data that the TRCA requires to effectively participate in the Environmental Assessment (EA) being undertaken by the Toronto Port Authority (TPA). The purpose of the EA is to assess and evaluate environmental impacts associated with Porter Airlines’ proposed runway extension and the potential operation of jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA).
The work being undertaken on October 9 and 10 has been coordinated with BBTCA and the Harbour Master’s office to ensure all safety precautions are taken and that there is no disruption to air or harbour operations.
The TPA is undertaking an Environmental Assessment to evaluate the potential environmental, social and economic effects (positive or negative) of Porter Airlines’ proposal to introduce new-technology jet aircraft at BBTCA and extend the landmass at each end of the main runway by 200 metres.
The EA will be delivered in two steps, with the first step focusing on developing the scope of the EA, while the second step will focus on implementing the scope. Consultation with the public and stakeholders will be an important part of both steps. For more information on the EA please visit www.BBTCArunwayEA.org
Importantly, the EA is not an approval process for the Porter Proposal, nor does it necessarily imply support for or against any aspect of the Porter Proposal. Instead, the result of the EA will be information that will allow all stakeholders to objectively consider the Porter Proposal and make a fact-based decision on the Proposal.
In addition to the EA, the TPA has committed to completing a preliminary Runway Design, updating its 2012 Airport Master Plan, and developing a new Master Plan that contemplates jet aircraft as required by the elected officials at Toronto City Council to assist in the overall analysis of the Porter Proposal. These three initiatives are funded by the TPA, as airport operator and not as Proposal proponent, and will be completed in the next nine to 12 months. The TPA is also participating in the City of Toronto’s Bathurst Quay Precinct Plan to ensure that the various initiatives are aligned and inform each other.