CITY HALL PACKED FOR PUBLIC CONSULTATION ON BILLY BISHOP EXPANSION

Jan 28, 2014

By Scott Walker

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A packed city council chamber heard passionate arguments for and against expansion of the Toronto Island Airport.

The public consultation was organized to get feedback for Porter Airlines’ plan to fly jets out of Billy Bishop airport, which would require expanding the runway.

Most of the people appeared to have arrived with their minds already made up. And many were strongly against the expansion plan. One of the 80 speakers likened Porter’s claim that the new Bombardier jet is quieter to claiming “the new gun is quieter than the old gun. But it’s still a gun.”

But others accuse the anti-Porter faction of fear-mongering. Porter President Robert DeLuce says the new jets are not only quieter than the turbo-props Porter currently flies, but they significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The Toronto Port Authority runs Billy Bishop. It says it’s open to limiting the number of flights at the airport, and building enclosures to muffle the sound.

The city’s Executive committee will consider a staff report at its meeting in March. Staff are recommending delaying any decision

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