Porter Airlines supports today’s decision (Dec. 5) by the City of Toronto’s Executive Committee to defer Porter’s proposal for introducing quiet jet service at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport until early next year. This not only allows the city to have further discussions with the Toronto Port Authority and federal government, but provides an opportunity for consultant reports commissioned by city staff as part of their review to be studied in greater detail.

“We’re encouraged that all parties overseeing airport operations appear ready to have detailed discussions about the proposal,” said Robert Deluce (pictured), president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “This is an opportunity to properly understand what the consultant reports really say and work toward realistic, short- and long-term solutions.”

The reports clearly indicate that the Bombardier CS100, with its new engine technology, will almost certainly meet the airport’s very strict noise limits and provide environmental benefits, such as virtually eliminating certain emissions. Additionally, the proposed runway extension is unlikely to have any material impact on the Western Shipping Channel.

According to Porter officials, having lost their two primary points of opposition, airport opponents are now misleading people about how much landside infrastructure work is required and how much it will cost. The city’s consultants explicitly recommend against unrealistic growth scenarios and the associated infrastructure to support it.

The reports indicate that mainland airport access can be improved with no more than $3 million of investment to handle some passenger growth, including jets. This involves increasing shuttle bus use, and improved signage and traffic signaling in the area. With an additional investment of just $50 million, landside infrastructure would be sufficient to handle even the most unrealistically high scenarios for traffic volume.

“When people raise outlandish numbers such as $500 million in infrastructure improvements, they are not being truthful, and the consultant reports clearly state that such expenditures are not advisable,” said Deluce. “Reasonable limits to growth can be put in place, allowing the airport and community to continue prospering together.”

The CS100 will make it possible for Porter to open up new destinations and offer lower fares from Toronto City Airport to locations such as Vancouver, Edmonton, Calgary, Winnipeg, Los Angeles, Florida and the Caribbean. A significant boost to economic development and tourism in Toronto is also anticipated. (