toronto island jets

Toronto might be OK with jets at the island airport

Toronto city council says it's prepared to talk about the possibility of Porter Airlines flying jet airplanes out of Billy Bishop Airport, voting unanimously in favour of a staff report that sought permission to enter into negotiations earlier this evening.

The vote only allows staff to present the city's conditions for jets to the Toronto Port Authority and Transport Canada, the other signatories to the tripartite agreement that governs the use of the airport. It's likely the final city council vote on whether or not to extend the runway and allow scheduled jet flights out of Billy Bishop won't take place until 2015 - after the next election.

Some of the conditions include evening curfews for flights, noise level restrictions, and reduced airport operation on weekends.

Council also voted that:

  • Tonight's vote does not support or oppose jets.
  • Money for the possible expansion of the airport can't come from the city or Building Canada Fund.
  • Waterfront Toronto be included in all talks.
  • City staff ask for an earlier curfew and quiet weekends at the airport.
  • The role of general aviation at the airport be examined and protected.
  • All current island airport safety guidelines be reviewed.
  • Changes to the airport agreement are not tied to a particular airline.
  • The impact to human health and bird populations be considered if the airport is expanded.
  • The ownership of Porter and other airlines be monitored.
  • There be no widening of Dan Leckie Way.

Rob Ford, a strong backer of allowing jets, missed the morning portion of the debate with a back injury. Doug Ford said the mayor was sore after injuring his back lifting weights and had been to visit a chiropractor. CTV News reported that Ford's Cadillac Escalade was parked at his Etobicoke home all morning.

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Image: Ken Sekiguchi/blogTO Flickr pool.


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