Former Waterfront City Planner Simon Chamberlain endorses NoJetsTO
Simon Chamberlain, former waterfront City planner and chair of the committee of lawyers which drew up the 1983 Tripartite Agreement, endorses NoJetsTO
When the people of Toronto decided to allow commercial flights from the airport in 1981 it was on the basis that there would be GUARANTEES to protect the waterfront - its parks and residential areas - against future expansion of activity at that airport. Mayor Art Eggleton was the one who committed to provide those guarantees, and June Rowlands, who would later become mayor herself, was the one who made sure NO JETS was one of the conditions. Torontonians had spent close to ten years discussing the airport's future before reaching this decision.Drawing up the Tripartite Agreement was an exhaustive process that took almost two years, and included extensive work to envision how commercial use of the airport might develop and what safeguards would be needed to keep the impacts within reasonable limits. I can categorically say that none of us envisaged even current passenger volumes, let alone those that may occur if the jet-ban goes and the runways are allowed to be lengthened. We also never imagined the state of congestion at Bathurst Quay nor the extent of engine warm-up noise from the Dash 8 Turbo props.
Most Torontonians do not seem to understand that neither the city nor the province has any direct control over aviation at the island airport. The types of planes allowed to use the airport, their noise levels and passenger numbers, are all strictly matters under federal jurisdiction. The City of Toronto's current controls come about only because it owns part of the airport site and was able, as a landlord, to impose certain conditions on its tenant. The moment they agree to longer runways and jets, the citizens of Toronto give up all control over future activity at the Island Airport.