City councillors appear to be leaning toward a staged closure of the City Centre Airport in downtown Edmonton.

Several councillors are vocally supporting a plan to shut down one of the runways over the next several years, then phasing out the rest of the airport.

A staged closure will give surrounding businesses time to make a plan, Coun. Ed Gibbons said Tuesday.

The city's legal department is looking over the proposal, and it will be presented to councillors tomorrow, Gibbons said.

"It's not a closure, and it's not an opening, but it's something we can work forward to until the airport is deemed not airport worthy, " Gibbons said.

"We can give certainty to the flights coming in from the north that they've got three years or five years left in their plans, and then they know that they have to deal with the International Airport," he said.

Councillors are expected to debate the future of the City Centre airport Wednesday afternoon.