Serious Setback for Jets
City Council spent all of April 1, 2014 grappling with Porter’s request to include jets on the Island Airport. Would the Waterfront be dominated by a jet airport with extended runways blocking sailing and future developments? Despite a costly advertising campaign by Porter, a privately owned company, the bid for fast approval suffered serious jet lag when Council voted to defer the expansion pending extensive studies until 2015 or later. The grassroots group NoJetsTO had good reason to celebrate.
Councillor Pam McConnell reported: “Council did not approve Island Airport expansion or the introduction of jets… The reports presented to City Council were never an endorsement of airport expansion or the operation of jets on the Island Airport. Rather, the studies highlighted many unresolved problems and contain numerous conditions before City Council should even contemplate amending the Tripartite Agreement.”
YQNA and many other citizens groups have worked tirelessly to educate people about this issue, which comes down to: Save our Waterfront! It belongs to all of Toronto, as NoJetsTO showed with 13,000 city-wide signatures on their petition. It is remarkable that Robert Deluce’s request could get so far before brakes were applied. This jet airport has no master plan, no environmental assessment, no business plan, no infrastructure plans, no certified jets, and no application for this airport has even been received by Transport Canada, which oversees all Canadian airports.
With so little information coming from Mr. Deluce and his landlord, the Toronto Port Authority, an impressive illustrated document from Transport Action Ontario fills a void. Their aeronautical experts applied all of Transport Canada’s safety regulations to the proposed jet airport; only exemptions could change this picture of the inner harbour. It shows extended runways, jet-blast zones, safety zones and marine exclusion zones. [See complete report here.]
As councillor Peter Milczyn said: “A larger airport on the lake is not the City’s or the people of Toronto’s vision for our Waterfront.”