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More signs of trouble for jets at Toronto Island airport

It's been a while since we heard about the proposal to allow jets to fly in and out of Billy Bishop Airport on the Toronto Island. In April, Air Canada announced it wouldn't support an expansion to accommodate jets on the waterfront. Many saw this as detrimental to Porter Airline's plan to start offering longer flights on Bombardier CSeries jets.

According to a new study by Oliver Wyman consultants and commissioned by Air Canada, the price for the airport expansion could run an upwards of $1 billion, reports the Toronto Star. Transport Canada also introduced new safety rules this week. And as the Star notes, these could further drive up the cost of the project.

In April 2014, city council voted in favour of looking at the possibility of allowing jets at the Island airport. As such, PortsToronto, which runs the airport, will likely be releasing multiple studies this fall. However, the city can't approve an expansion by itself. Any changes would require an amendment to the 1983 tripartite agreement, signed by the city of Toronto, Transport Canada and PortsToronto.

And, the two front-runners in the Spadina-Fort York riding have recently said they would not support jets on the Island.

"An NDP government will not amend the Tripartite Agreement to permit a runway extension or jets, or for any other purpose," wrote Oliva Chow in a letter to CommunityAIR, an organization that advocates for a greener waterfront.

Vaughan expressed similar sentiments to the citizen's group, writing, "The Liberal Party will not re-open the tripartite agreement. No Jets. No Expansion. Period."

Do you think jets should be allowed at the Toronto Island airport? Let us know in the comments.

Photo by Tom Podolec in the blogTO Flickr pool.


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