City council to debate Island Airport expansion plan

This is the latest hurdle in Porter's bid to have the runways extended at Billy Bishop Airport

You can count on tempers flaring in the city council chambers on Tuesday.

Councillors will discuss whether or not to move forward with negotiations for the expansion of Billy Bishop Airport.

According to a city staff report, the negotiations can take place if the Toronto Port Authority, Transport Canada and the City agree to amend the Tripartite Agreement established in 1983. It bans jets from flying in and out of Billy Bishop.

Porter Airlines wants to expand the runways by 200 metres on each end for larger jets. The final approval of the expansion won't take place until 2015.

Mayor Rob Ford fully supports the idea.

Porter signed a deal to buy up to 30 C-Series jets from Bombardier last year.

Those who oppose the expansion argue that it will be bad for the environment, causing more traffic congestion and and noise pollution.

The motion requires 23 votes for approval.

Some observers think the vote will be close, with Mayor Ford and Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly on the side of giving a conditional approval for the expansion, while others such as councillor Adam Vaughan are dead against the idea.

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  1. Milt Flynn posted on 04/01/2014 09:10 AM
    The article states that Mayor Rob Ford fully supports the idea to expand the runway at BBCTA. This is the same man that fully supports the idea of smoking crack, public drunkenness and impaired driving otherwise he would not have done any of them. Ford supports the idea tells me that it is the wrong thing to do. Let's hope other councillors are smart enough to agree with me. Remember the conditions that the city has laid out for the airport expansion are only a starting point for negotiations with Porter and Porter will negotiate each one away until they have a full blown unrestricted airport on the waterfront. Which the taxpayer will end up paying for and within 5 years regret.
    1. G Man posted on 04/01/2014 11:06 AM
      @Milt Flynn The city wouldn't be negotiating with Porter, they'd be negotiating with other levels of government as to who pays how much. As it stands, the full cost would come from the taxpayers, which I think is insane. Building a runway at taxpayers expense for Porter is like building an arena or stadium for a pro sports team; even worse since jobs gained at Billy Bishop airport will equal jobs lost at Pearson.
    2. dama posted on 04/01/2014 02:49 PM
      @G Man you and G man are wrong in tour assessment

      Porter is just trying to get approval to extend both sides of the runway - by 400 metres in total

      The Tripartite Agreement established in 1983 bans jets from flying in and out of Billy Bishop, so in order for Porter to extend the runway, this Tripartite Agreement needs to be amended.. and that's what council is debating.

      The taxpayer is not shouldering any cost.. it is all Porter..

      and to MILT: Rob Ford is supporting this based on business sense, with Porter paying so much in taxes to the city,, it is a no brainer for Porter to expand unlike Adam Vaughan..

      I think Rob Ford should smokes more crack to have a more sounding mind than some of the leftie councillors.. and get smashed every friday night
  2. sheri posted on 04/01/2014 09:27 AM
    Do you support the bar at the police station?
  3. sheri posted on 04/01/2014 09:29 AM
    It looks like there might be space for a north-south runway on existing land.
  4. Frankie posted on 04/01/2014 10:23 AM
    I'm sure that a**hole Adam Vaughan will convince council that the island airport is in Kensington Market and how much it would harm the residents and retailers.

    I hope the airport expansion goes through as it's a real plus for the city.
  5. G Man posted on 04/01/2014 11:00 AM
    Council shouldn't even consider approving it unless private interests put up 100% of the funding (i.e., Porter pays for it). It's of no economic benefit to the taxpayers, as all it would do is reduce the number of flights out of Pearson, the airport for which we've already paid. Jobs gained at Billy Bishop = jobs lost at Pearson, except for the temporary construction jobs.
    1. Frankie posted on 04/01/2014 11:45 AM
      @G Man Why should one airport be government funded and not another when they both serve a similar public? Billy Bishop flights are less costly than Pearson which is of economic benefit to travellers and taxpayers.

      Using your analogy we should eliminate subways as buses could do the same job and subways just reduce the number of buses needed. Jobs gained on subways = jobs lost on buses.

    2. G Man posted on 04/01/2014 12:14 PM
      @Frankie Because Pearson has already been built and paid for, so doesn't require any more capital investment from taxpayers. Your argument would make financial sense if neither airport existed, and we were deciding which one to build.

      As for "Billy Bishop flights" being cheaper, do you really think Porter flights will stay cheaper when they have to pay off the new aircraft they plan to buy?

      As for your subways vs. buses analogy, it doesn't hold water. Subways carry many times more passengers per hour that buses could.
  6. john posted on 04/01/2014 11:02 AM
    it is not for the council to make that ruling that place is run by the feds . not Toronto .
  7. AC posted on 04/01/2014 11:03 AM
    I fully support what city staff is recommending and i live a 10 min walk from there. it's the most intelligent thing to do at this point and time.

    Rob Ford resign you pig
    1. john posted on 04/01/2014 12:39 PM
      @AC so should Katleen Wynne .
  8. Etobi-COKE Voter posted on 04/01/2014 01:10 PM
    Expanding Island Airport ............ but giving a near exclusive deal to Porter

    Want lower fares, open more slots to Air Canada, WestJet and other carriers

    Expanding Island Airport.............but bankrupting the GTAA and airline passengers ............. the feds have served notice they are building the Pickering Airport in Durham (and yeah Robbie has no transportation plans for that one........his subway don't go there) we really need the Island if we have another major airport in addition to Oshawa, Hamilton and Kitchener-Waterloo

    Three airports plus these regional fields all competing for passengers - this is not NYC but we are moving closer to having our own Mirabel

    Building an airport for a plane that has not received approval............wise minds!

    And what happens when AC wants to use E-175s and WJ wants to use B-737-700s?

    Wait til Deluce wants a north-south runway for high wind situations, say goodbye to most of the Island beach and Hanlans Point parks.

    Amazing how one airport executive with a board stuffed with former airline execs can control local politicians for an airline with load factors that are far below WJ and AC
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