Hundreds attend public meeting on Toronto Island airport expansion

Those for and against expansion pack council chambers

Hundreds packed a public meeting Monday night at Toronto city hall to discuss Porter Airlines' request to expand runways and fly jets at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

City staff, Transport Canada and the Toronto Port Authority made short presentations of what they are reviewing while members of the public asked questions.

Public concerns were focused around implications to noise, convenience and possible environmental implications of the proposed changes.

Toronto's executive committee was expected to vote on the proposal on Feb. 4 before it is presented to city council, but staff they have asked for a deferral until March.

Porter has already signed a conditional deal with Bombardier to buy up to 30 CS100 jets based on the city's approval of an expansion.

The east-west runway would need to be extended 200 metres at each end to accommodate the jets.

Staff recommendations are that the request is still premature pending finalization of the regulatory and technical approvals for runways and insufficient information on flight test data for the jet aircraft.

Toronto Port Authority is seeking up to $100 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements related to airport access, a runway extension and a proposed use of Bombardier C-series jets.

Toronto Port Authority president and CEO Geoffrey Wilson admitted they are dealing with a very a complex set of issues.

``If we are going to have this airport succeed we're going to make it the very best it can be,'' said Wilson. ``We don't aspire to be a mini-Pearson on the lake.''

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  1. Frankie posted on 01/28/2014 07:12 AM
    Couldn't believe some of the ridiculous comments of some people at this meeting. I think if there were a public meeting to ban the car and revert to horse and buggy they'd be all for it. These meetings will always be skewed in favour of the opponents as those in favour are too busy working and flying to/from Billy Bishop airport.
    1. AC posted on 01/28/2014 10:09 AM
      @Frankie ridiculous to you might be something that's a concern to others that might effect the community they live in.
      unlike your biased unhelpful views. I'll take a middle of the road approach.
      I actually happen to live about a 10 min walk away from Porter. 17 years in the hood.
      I love Porter, convenient for a long wknd here and there down to NYC or Chicago. in and out quick. nice. would be great to fly down to Florida and other places. but a 2 min walk away is the airport shuttle bus to Pearson also. 25-30 mins tp Pearson
      But the issue is much more complicated and i believe city staff will make the right recommend to hold off for a few years for study and assessment.
      the increase in traffic effects me coming home from work.
      a gentleman with water treatment background brought up a great point
      on water quality. traffic/transit are all issues. more fuel tankers going in and out of residential areas. you want that where you live?
      Deluce is looking after his interests. that's it.
      the people will look after there's and hopefully the city planning experts will do what's right for all of us
    2. Frankie posted on 01/28/2014 12:48 PM
      @AC My opinion and comments are a reaction to some of the comments made last night.

      We already have an airport and for those living near it they knew that when they bought.

      The additional flight traffic is rather disingenuous since there's only one runway; that's the limiting factor to the number of flights. Of course larger planes mean more passengers.

      There are other major metropolitan areas that have airports in close proximity to residents and businesses, and they function quite well.

      I don't dispute the fact there are issues to be looked at, merely that there's a lot of misinformation and fear-mongering going on by both citizen groups and councillors opposed to the jets.

      My concern is the real facts will be selectively displayed/ignored by a left-leaning council. My councillor has already made up his mind to vote against it no matter what. I don't consider that responsible governance.
    3. Karl Burgin posted on 01/28/2014 01:18 PM
      @Frankie You probably are right here. Some councillors would prefer car and buggy- as its more environmental.
      Didn't Doug Ford make a joke about during a Council meeting some time last year?
  2. tanjo posted on 01/28/2014 09:13 AM
    I like Porter. I like the service and would love to see them expand. However, the staff is right. The jets aren't ready. This meeting is premature.

    I'm really not sure why they are bringing this up (again) with so many significant facts missing.

    I think some is trying to make this an election issue, like Miller did 10 years ago, or whenever it was.
    1. Frankie posted on 01/28/2014 09:27 AM
      @tanjo I believe it's the left on city council that's trying to galvanize publicity and support before each objection is addressed. Heard someone say this is similar to the fight from the 70's for the Spadina Expressway.

      IMO one of the biggest failings of this city was stopping the expressway down to the Gardiner. Having lived and visited other major cities that have expressways connecting highways I think it shows a complete lack of vision and today's mess on the Allen and parts of the city is the result.

      I feel the same way about Billy Bishop airport.
  3. John posted on 01/28/2014 10:40 AM
    You have left out consultants report, and HEALTH WAS TALKED ABOUT.... or how about board of health UNANIMOUSLY SAID NO! Said already reached benchmark and would SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASE CANCER, CARDIOVASCULAR, RESPIRATORY ILLNESS from waterfront up to business/financial district,queen street, university avenue where people are seeking treatment, all the way up to queens park Circle, this is not in your article and not accurate as to what city planners talked about and citizens spoke to last night! FACTUALLY INCORRECT.
  4. lea posted on 01/31/2014 09:18 AM
    Many favor keeping the noisy prop planes over the quieter, cleaner jets, but not me. The whisper jets are wonderful, better for the environment and the user-friendly airport allows all to escape the ripoffs, long lines, bad service, over-charging and mismanagement at Pearson Airport.

    As usual in Toronto, many protesters do not know the issues very well but love a chance to sound off about something. City staff are holding onto a non-report that only studied other airports, and the public hasn't been told which planes Porter wants to use.
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