A Look At The New Billy Bishop Lounge

Nieuport Aviation officially celebrated the completion of its terminal upgrades at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport yesterday (Nov. 14) with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Although it means complimentary beverages (so long free cappuccino!) and most snacks (the shortbread cookies reportedly remain) have gone out the window, passengers now have a variety of restaurants and grab-and-go items to choose from including OBISPO, Balzac’s Coffee Roasters and Market@416.

“I think what we tried to achieve here is get the right balance with the quiet areas, combined with the workplace areas, workplace stations, together with the excellent retail amenities and high-quality food and drink, that balance is what we’re trying to achieve,” said Neil Pakey, CEO of Nieuport Aviation, which owns and operates the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, pictured top right.

Along with more seating, charging stations, decor upgrades and water bottle filling stations, there are new retail options: Toronto City Duty Free, City Island Market and Island Market, operated by Hudson Group, which offer an assortment of travel essentials and luxury items with local favourites from The Chocolateria, North Standard Trading Post, Red Canoe, The Art Gallery of Ontario, and Wildly Delicious.

Gregory Smith, president and CEO of InstarAGF and executive chairman of Nieuport Aviation’s Board of Directors, said the upgrades were geared at better accommodating the 2.8 million passengers that travel through the airport each year.

“With this upgrade we’ve added over 12,000 square feet for this modern state-of-the-art terminal, providing more space and comfort for our 2.8 million passengers,” he said. “We’ve modernized the decor to reflect the great city of Toronto and the surrounding region, and we’ve added comfortable seating and workspace options and we’re catering to the tech savvy traveller with WiFi and more charging stations. We’ve introduced new restaurants, retail stores, that deliver on what passengers have been asking for: selection and choice.”

Smith said they are also ready to reconfigure the terminal to accommodate the anticipated U.S. pre-clearance facility.

“In addition to these lounge upgrades, we’re finalizing a project to add two additional gates, that will improve our operational flexibility especially during those peak heavy demand traffic times,” Smith said. “Toronto is often envied by other cities for having a convenient downtown airport that delivers billions in economic activity each year for the community in which it serves. For Nieuport, it’s truly an honour to partner with PortsToronto, Porter and Air Canada in making Billy Bishop one of the world’s best regional airports.”

Fresh off the completion of a three-year rebuilding of the entire airfield side, Geoffrey Wilson, president and CEO of PortsToronto said the airport now also has updated runways, aprons, taxiways and LED lighting.

“Now this wonderful terminal is modernized and is equipped to do great things into the future. So what’s next?” he asked. “For us, the next thing is perhaps one of the most critically important things in our partnerships with the city of Toronto, and that is that we now start to invest again heavily in the land side. We modernize the land side, we go to electrification of ferries, electrification of buses to a sincere and signification investment in the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan under the guidance and leadership from councillor Cressy and it goes on from there. The journey never stops.”