Billy Bishop airport expansion not going ahead, Garneau says
Canada's new Transport Minister Mark Garneau tweeted late Thursday night the Liberal government has no intentions of re-opening an agreement that would allow passenger jets to fly out of an expanded Toronto Islands airport.
"I confirm that GoC position is same as LPC commitment: we will not re-open tripartite agreement for YTZ," Garneau said in the tweet.
Toronto City Councillor Joe Cressy also took to social media to share the news.
Confirmed! The Government of Canada will not re-open the tripartite agreement. Jets will not fly out of an expanded island airport! 1/2— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) November 13, 2015
As a City, our work now returns to ensuring that existing airport operations better fit in with the local neighbourhood and Toronto. 2/2— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) November 13, 2015
Earlier this month, a member of the newly elected Liberal caucus also confirmed the tripartite agreement between the federal Ministry of Transportation, the City of Toronto and the Toronto Port Authority would not be re-opened.
Porter Airlines, which is based at Billy Bishop, has been pushing to expand that airport's runways by 200 metres on each end to make room for Bombardier C-series jets to land there. Rejecting the expansion means passengers will not be able to travel directly from the Island airport to destinations beyond the east coast of North America.
In 2013, Porter signed a $2-billion deal with Bombardier to buy 12 jets. Those planes would allow the airline to fly passengers to passengers to destinations as far as Vancouver, Los Angeles and the Caribbean. Porter also signed a conditional agreement to buy another 18 jets unless the expansion was denied.