Sep 04, 2013

By Scott Walker

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Public consultations begin today on Porter Airlines’ plans to fly jets into Billy Bishop airport on Toronto Island.

The company has revised its proposed expansion plans to include a longer extension of the runway. Porter says it wants the main runway extended by 200 metres on either end. Original plans called for a 168-metre extension.

Porter CEO Robert Deluce says the extension would reduce the noise of the new jets by allowing them to use less power on takeoff.

Porter wants to fly the new Bombardier C-Series jet. Deluce calls the new plane the “whisper” jet because it is four times quieter than conventional jet engines. He says it would make less noise than the Q-400 that Porter flies now.

The C-Series has yet to make its inaugural flight. Its greater range would allow the airline to fly to destinations such as Los Angeles, Florida, Calgary and the Caribbean from Toronto Island.

An anti-airport expansion group called NoJetsTO claims it’s no coincidence that the airline has changed its proposal the day before the public consultations begin. Spokesman Anshul Kapoor says it won’t allow city staff to analyse the proposal before presenting it to the public.

Deluce says Porter would be happy with either extension.

This afternoon’s consultations begin at 2:00 at the Fort York Blue Barracks. Full details are available here.

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