Toronto

Porter Airlines' proposal to bring jets to island airport dead in the water

Porter Airlines' proposal to bring jets to an expanded island airport is officially dead in the water.

PortsToronto says it will not complete studies requested by City of Toronto last year

PortsToronto said Tuesday it will not "proceed with further public engagement-related activities pertaining to the Porter Proposal to introduce jets" at the island airport. (David Donnelly/CBC)

The proposal by Porter Airlines to bring jets to an expanded island airport is officially dead in the water.

On Tuesday, PortsToronto, the owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, said it will not complete a series of studies requested by city council last year.

"PortsToronto will complete the technical work currently underway, but will not proceed with further public engagement-related activities pertaining to the Porter Proposal to introduce jets," the agency's CEO Geoffrey Wilson said in a statement. "As such, the studies will not be finished."

The agency said that in April 2014, it undertook three studies - "an Environmental Assessment, Preliminary Runway Design and Master Planning Exercise – to inform the discussion on the Porter Proposal" at the request of the city.

PortsToronto's decision follows last month's announcement by Transport Minister Marc Garneau that his government would not amend the tripartite agreement, which governs what kind of aircraft can take off and land at Billy Bishop, to remove the prohibition on commercial jets there.

One of the groups that had been protesting against Porter's proposal, NoJetsTO, welcomed the news.

"Today the pro-jets camp moved from denial to acceptance by pulling the plug on the expansion study," the group's chairman Norman Di Pasquale said. "The airport expansion study was flawed and pointless; by ending it the Port Authority for once did the right thing."

PortsToronto said it would continue to focus on the airport's current operations "in order to benefit our passenger base, fulfill the airport's potential and serve Toronto's economic interests, all the while ensuring appropriate fit with its waterfront surroundings."

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