CityNews Reports on the Executive Committee Meeting and David Miller's Endorsement September 24, 2013 TORONTO - Further study into the effects of the Toronto island airport expansion was voted down by the city’s executive committee on Tuesday. After hearing from a number of GTA residents who raised concerns over bringing jets into the downtown core, the committee, chaired by Mayor Rob Ford, voted against all four motions brought forth by Coun. Adam Vaughan for more information on the expansion. They then voted in favour of receiving an update on the expansion. During the meeting members of the public presented their concerns to the committee over the expansion, and requested further study into environmental effects, the impact on land value and the increase in noise. Former federal Transportation Minister Paul Hellyer also voiced his concerns over the plan stating the city is already well served with transcontinental air service. “The environmental cost is too high for something that isn’t really needed,” Hellyer told the committee. Porter has asked the city to amend a tripartite agreement with the three levels of government that currently bans jets at the airport. Ford and his brother, Coun. Doug Ford, support Porter’s plan. Former mayor David Miller – who campaigned against a bridge to the island airport – said Tuesday he is opposed to jets. “It is clear that jets, and the accompanying runway expansion, violate the idea of a clean, green waterfront that Torontonians have embraced,” Miller said in a statement issued by NoJetsTO. “The Toronto Islands are a place where families from all over this city come for their summer recreation. Our waterfront is undergoing a massive revitalization that will create literally thousands of modern green jobs. Both of these things are put at huge risk by being under the flight path of jets.” Source: CityNews article
Globe and Mail Article Features David Miller's Endorsement of NoJetsTO Campaign September 24, 2013 TORONTO - A new survey shows Toronto residents are divided in their response to a proposal to operate jet aircraft from the downtown Toronto Islands airport. A telephone survey commissioned by the city concluded that “half of Torontonians say that an expanded airport with jets does not fit with the revitalized waterfront, and Toronto residents living in the waterfront area are most likely to say that the airport does not fit.” The plan to expand the airport and use jet aircraft had the support of 47 per cent of those surveyed, while 45 per cent were opposed. The survey was released on Tuesday as part of a staff update for the city’s executive committee, which is debating proposals by the Toronto Port Authority and Porter Airline to extend a runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and operate Bombardier CS100 jets. The city survey found that the concerns of people who live near the airport dwelt mostly on the environmental impact on the lakeshore and increased traffic congestion in the area at the foot of Bathurst Street. Also on Tuesday, former Toronto mayor David Miller came out with an endorsement for the No Jets T.O. campaign created to fighting the proposal. In an open letter, Mr. Miller said, “it is clear that jets, and the accompanying runway expansion, violate the idea of a clean, green waterfront that Torontonians have embraced.” Mr. Miller noted in his letter that “the Toronto Islands are a place where families from all over this city come for their summer recreation. Our waterfront is undergoing a massive revitalization that will create literally thousands of modern green jobs. Both of these things are put at huge risk by being under the flight path of jets.” A spokesman for the No Jets T.O. said that Mr. Miller will likely continue to be involved in the campaign, although nothing has been planned yet. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, a long-time supporter of the island airport, said the former mayor’s past predictions about its negative effects on the waterfront have not happened. “David Miller thought the island airport was going to be the end of the world eight or10 years ago and we’ve seen nothing but huge development there -- thousands and thousands of people wanting to live there," he said. “Mr. Miller clearly has a credibility problem in terms of what he said would happen and what has happened.” The city survey of 1,002 Toronto residents suggests a far more mixed public response compared with previous surveys released by the Toronto Port Authority and Porter Airlines. The Toronto Port Authority’s latest survey, released on Sept. 4, found that 60 per cent of Torontonians – and 50 per cent of those living south of Queen Street, close to the waterfront – support Porter flying jets into the airport, so long as they make no more noise than the turboprop planes in use now. The city’s survey was conducted in late August. According to the city staff report, the survey was conducted by Environics Research Group and included in its sample 100 people living in the immediate area of the airport. The margin of error for the sample size was reported as plus-or-minus 3.1 percentage points at the 95 per cent confidence level. With files from Elizabeth Church Source: The Globe and Mail article
NOW Magazine Cuts Through the Clutter: Jets on the Waterfront Are Not About Noise - and NoJetsTO Gets Featured September 23, 2013 TORONTO - Got to hand it to Robert Deluce. He’s one slick operator. That was quite the charm offensive at last Thursday’s public consultation at the Direct Energy Centre. The Porter Airlines CEO had employees bussed in to make sure the one and only real public consultation on his Island Airport expansion plans wasn’t going to be a free for all for opponents. At least two buses were spotted outside. They came armed and ready with talking points about Porter being representative of an iconic Canadian company, driving innovation in the aviation industry and it’s contribution to the Toronto economy. A compelling argument, given the current state of the manufacturing economy in Canada. Even though the CS100s Porter’s planning to buy from Bombardier will be built in China and Ireland. There were feel-good stories, too. Like about the grandmother from Halifax who could now visit her grandchildren, which didn’t quite have the desired effect, eliciting boos from the gathering. The emphasis was on putting a human face on Porter. The effort succeeded. Especially in painting the jets debate as one between well-heeled residents on the waterfront (concerned about a little noise) and the needs of the rest of the city. One Porter supporter suggested waterfront residents have it better than the rest of us. She noted there’s an 11 pm curfew on flights on the airport, unlike other parts of the city where streetcars and buses run 24-7. Have to admit, that one left my ears ringing, but Porter has some of the best creative minds in the biz of marketing on this one. Besides the lobbyists flooding the offices of city councillors, there’s Winkreative the London-based firm behind Porter’s image makeover and those award-winning raccoon ads pushing “flying refined.” Check the flyers to get folks out to Thursday’s meeting. They suggest those opposed to Porter’s expansion plans, which has its own hashtag (#PorterPlans) don’t you know, are no smarter than first graders. To Porter, residents opposed to their plans are a mere nuisance. This one may already be in the bag. At the first public consultation at Metro Hall during the Toronto International Film Festival a week earlier, flyers advertising Porter fights to Los Angeles were being handed out. The talking points delivered by Porter employees had the desired effect. A few at the meeting who spoke against airport expansion ended up looking a little, well, flakey. When one speaker mentioned the nearby bird sanctuary and the increased risk of bird strikes posed by the CS100 jets, you could almost feel the collective eye-rolling. At least, judging by some of the back and forth going on simultaneously on Twitter. This video illustrates the seriousness of the issue.
//www.youtube.com/embed/uELow1Mp7UA?feature=player_embeddedBut that’s been part of the problem with the debate over Island Airport expansion. All the noise about noise has become a distraction. The potential health effects from a 30 per cent increase in jet travel on the waterfront and the impact on jet travel on the lake, our drinking water, have received less consideration. What will an expanded airport mean for traffic at the foot of Bathurst, which is a chaotic mess now? It’ll probably suck the life out of the area. But that issues has barely registered outside of those directly affected. One of the biggest misconceptions: that most of the opposition to Porter’s plans is coming from folks opposed to the existence of the airport, period. In fact, not even NoJetsTO, the group spearheading opposition, is against an airport on the waterfront. It’s against expansion. The city deserves part of the blame for the narrow focus. The city’s own public consultation information document deals only with the potential benefits of Island Airport expansion. Council, in its wisdom, didn’t see fit to ask staff to enumerate the drawbacks. That seems by design, since it’s Deluce’s friends at the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) that are paying for the consultation, presumably they get to make the rules. Island Airport expansion is not just about the noise, of course. Or the Richie Richs on the Island. Those who’ll be most immediately affected by an open-skies policy, are folks living in co-ops a few hundred metres away from the runway, not the members of the nearby National Yacht Club. The false perception persists. Deluce wants nothing more than to make the debate about anything but the economic viability of his expansion plans or the fact his expansion plans will be make or break for the airline. All the while, more questions are being asked about the cost overruns associated with the CS100s. *** Deluce wants us to believe his is an airline for all Toronto and not just his business buddies on Bay Street. The Toronto Port Authority, who’ve embarked on a multi-million-dollar ad campaign to bust “myths” about airport expansion, are helping engage in a little misinformation on that one. The TPA’s annual Ipsos survey released earlier this month claimed that the majority of folks using the Island Airport, some 60 per cent, are leisure travellers. Proof positive, Porter spokerperson Brad Cicero told the Globe, that “the idea that this is an airport for certain small segment of business travelers is very outdated.” Seems, however, that the Ipsos results were a little, shall we say, skewed, forcing the TPA president and CEO, Geoffrey Wilson, to issue a statement clarifying that the opposite holds true – most Porter users are business clients. A point made clear by a more detailed survey conducted last year by Advitek Data for the city’s Strategic Transportation Study back in 2012. “In light of the recent media coverage, the TPA believed it was in the public interest to clarify the issue,” Wilson said. The Ipsos survey also says that 60 per cent or Torontonians support Porter’s expansion plans. On that point, however, there has been no clarification issued by the TPA. firstname.lastname@example.org | @enzodimatteo Source: NOW Magazine article
Metro Columnist Matt Elliott Asks: What Kind of Waterfront Do We Really Want? September 22, 2013 TORONTO - We’re now a few months into the super repetitive 2013 edition of the Great Island Airport Debate. At issue: should city hall OK a proposal to allow jets to make use of Billy Bishop Airport on Toronto Island? On this topic, I mostly just have questions. Questions that have gone unanswered despite a set of public consultations that wrapped up last week and a growing stack of staff reports on the subject. Questions like, hey, so what exactly is the plan for the airport anyway? This should be obvious, but I’m not sure it is. The story we’re being told is that Porter Airlines is simply asking permission to use quiet Bombardier-built CS100 jets. It’s easy to see why that proposal might appeal to a lot of Torontonians. Bombardier is a Canadian company providing Canadian jobs. And Porter is well-liked, what with their lovable raccoon mascot and the free in-flight booze. But Porter and Bombardier aren’t the only players here. Porter doesn’t own the island airport — taxpayers do, through the Toronto Port Authority. Porter doesn’t have exclusive rights to it, nor is Bombardier the only manufacturer of planes that can land there. Staff at city hall have already admitted that governments can’t show favouritism in the outcome of this debate. Extending the runway into Lake Ontario and allowing the CS100s would mean allowing any airline’s jets that fit noise requirements and runway specs. A staff report released last week says Air Canada, United Airlines and WestJet are all interested. In other words, it seems wrong to paint this as a minor change to Porter’s existing service. There’s something considerably more substantial going on here. It’s important to understand the full ramifications before any decisions are made. Beyond that, I wonder about another piece of public infrastructure you and I are set to own: the Union-Pearson Express. It’s supposed to whisk travellers from downtown Toronto to our biggest airport in about 25 minutes. It seems natural to assume this new train might impact the need for expansion of the island airport, but data on the subject seems hard to find. It shouldn’t be. Finally, and most critically, I keep coming back to this question: what kind of waterfront do we really want? I don’t really buy into the apocalyptic narrative about jets at the island airport turning the waterfront into a wasteland littered with dead birds, but it’s impossible to ignore that a growing airport seems fundamentally at odds with a waterfront designed for people to live, work and play. Not allowing jets may seem like an arbitrary line to draw, but maybe it’s also a line that makes it clear what we value about our waterfront going forward: the people, not the planes. Source: Metro column by Matt Elliott
Toronto Star Article Calls Deluce Out for Busing in Porter Employees September 19, 2013 TORONTO - Proponents and opponents flooded a heated town hall meeting Thursday night about Porter Airlines’ proposal to fly new CSeries jets from Toronto’s island airport.
Advocates ranging from a limo driver to a frequent flyer to New York and newly hired Porter employee argued that Porter’s expansion would benefit the city’s economy. Opponents included Barry Lipton, an island resident who brought a giant black fabric circle to highlight just how big the new engines are on Bombardier’s new jet.
“What happens if there’s a bird strike?” he asked, and one of the engines failed. Joseph Szwalek, regional director of civil aviation for Transport Canada, said before any aircraft wins certification, requirements must be met. If Porter’s jet plans fall short, “they won’t be certified.”
The CSeries jet, which had its first flight on Monday, is expected to enter commercial service in about a year, though detailed data on everything from noise levels to fuel efficiency won’t available for months.
City officials are in a highly unusual situation of assessing the Porter Airlines’ proposal, even though the airport’s operator, the Toronto Port Authority, and the regulator, Transport Canada, have not taken an official position on the expansion plan.
However, the port authority, which has paid more than $560,000 in fees related to the city’s review so far, has asked Transport Canada to review two Porter proposals to extend the main runway, in one case by 168 metres at each end, and in another by 200 metres at each end.
Christopher Dunn, the city’s project manager overseeing the review, said if the city doesn’t have enough data on noise levels, it won’t be able to make a recommendation to city council.
Jane Steele Moore, who lives near Eglinton Ave. and Avenue Rd., told the meeting that those who live near the island’s Billy Bishop Airport were lucky, because the curfew prohibits planes from landing and taking off between 11 p.m. and 6:45 a.m. She pulled out a map, showing various TTC overnight Blue Night routes, noting that for other Toronto residents, streetcars and buses are running all the time.
Porter Airlines has placed a conditional order for 12 jets, but it must first overcome a huge hurdle — winning over city officials and then city council — to lift the jet ban at Toronto’s island airport as well as extend the existing runway into Lake Ontario.
It is unclear who would pay for the changes as well as infrastructure upgrades near Bathurst St., and a city staff report has made clear the city wants a commitment from the port authority over whether it would bear the costs.
At the end of the three-hour meeting, City Councillor Adam Vaughan, who represents the area, also questioned the speed of this process.
“It takes us almost two years to put a stop sign in your neighbourhoods,” he said, “And yet this decision has been asked of us in a few weeks.”
He worried that city council will made a decision before all the information is available.
Porter CEO Robert Deluce told reporters that he believes the time frame set by city staff can be met, adding Bombardier has “unequivocably” said it will concentrate on the noise data the city requires.
“If I were Adam Vaughan, I would not be proud of the fact that it took two years to put a stop sign in place,” Deluce said.
Asked whether Porter urged its employees to attend the town hall, Deluce said no one was rewarded in any way. The airline did provide a bus to Exhibition Place for employees, he said.
Anshul Kapoor, who chairs NoJetsTo, which opposes island airport expansion, said the review is being rushed.
“We don't know why it's being rushed,” he said. “The city is in no way capable of coming to a decision in nine weeks, when a health study takes upwards of a year.”
Denys Jones, commodore of the National Yacht Club, questioned why Porter Airlines has just dropped a new proposal for a longer runway, when Deluce had originally promised the marine exclusion zone would not be touched.
“Why are you in such a hurry? The aircraft hasn’t been tested,” Jones said. “We haven’t got a clue what the noise is.”
Deluce acknowledged that he had assured Jones that “it would not impede the access of boaters to the inner harbour or the lake.”
But Deluce added consultants felt that the second proposal for a longer runway should be brought forward for consideration, because it could bring other benefits including lower power during takeoff. Source: Toronto Star article
680 News Features NoJetsTO But Fails to Mention Porter Employees Were Bused in September 19, 2013 TORONTO – Those for and against a proposal to fly jets in and out of Toronto’s island airport took to the microphone Thursday at a packed town hall to make their plea.
Proponents argued that the expansion would be a boost to Toronto’s economy. “Our decision should be made based on fact — not emotion. It’s a positive addition to Toronto,” one man said. A Porter Airlines’ employee tried to make his case but was met with boos. “In many ways, Toronto is a reflection of Porter and Porter is a reflection of Toronto and many of its values and characteristics,” he said. Watch the 680 News video of town hall here Noise levels, which is among the concerns for some, is not a worry for one island resident who wants to see the jets fly in. “I hear more noise from the city than I hear from the planes going past,” she said. But NoJetsTO chairman Anshul Kapoor said the island is no place for jets. “We say no to jets. They’re not going to land on our waterfront. They’re not going to land on an island,” he said. “This is our island, this is our city and we’re going to fight to protect it.” Currently, jets are not permitted at the island airport due to an agreement with the city, feds and port authority. But Porter wants this agreement altered. Test data on the noise levels of the engines is yet to be available. The CSeries jets took flight for the first time on Monday. Source: 680 News Article The city’s final report on the issue will go to Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee in December.
The Star Reports on the TPA Submission to Transport Canada and the Revealing City Staff Report on the Jet Review September 17, 2013 TORONTO - The Toronto Port Authority has asked Transport Canada to look at two separate runway extension proposals, put forward by Porter Airlines to allow CSeries jets to fly out of the island airport.
Transport Canada officials are expected to offer results of their review by the end of October, according to an interim city of Toronto staff report released Tuesday.
However, port authority spokeswoman Pamela McDonald said the submission was done merely as a “procedural” move as the operator of the airport, and that the port authority has not taken any position on Porter’s expansion plans.
That’s been the line it has taken ever since Porter Airlines announced in April that it wants to fly Bombardier’s new CS100 narrow-body jets from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
Porter has submitted two separate runway extension plans, one that calls for a 168-metre addition at each end, and new one, calling for a 200-metre addition at each end.
The port authority has said it will wait to see what city council decides, though it is also evaluating the plans.
In the meantime, the city of Toronto is leading a formal review of the Porter proposal, everything from noise levels to traffic concerns, with a final recommendation expected by December. Mayor Rob Ford pushed for the review, which was endorsed by city council in May.
Technical consultants have been hired, and to date, the Toronto Port Authority, which is footing the bill, has paid $566,531.25.
The staff report also raises concerns about whether three key noise measures of the new jet – which had its maiden flight on Monday – will be available by the first week of November when the city review is anticipated to be completed.
“It’s not a matter of engine noise,” said Fiona Chapman, waterfront project director. “It has to be an engine operating on a plane.
“We have been crystal clear with Bombardier and with Porter that we have to completely understand whether this fits under the noise parameters,” she said in an interview.
The staff report warns that if noise measures are not available in time, “city council will have insufficient information to make an informed decision on whether the CS-100 aircraft can operate” at the island airport under the existing tripartite agreement, which governs the airport.
At Bombardier’s news conference after Monday’s first flight, Rob Dewar, vice-president in charge of the CSeries, said noise data would still be months away.
“We understand the schedule that the city has laid out. We are working to ensure that the city gets adequate information,” said Bombardier spokeswoman Marianella de la Barrera in an interview.
Bombardier has said the CSeries jets will be four times quieter than traditional jets because of its special geared-turbo fan engine.
Porter spokesman Brad Cicero said in an email that Bombardier’s comments refer to full certification.
“Everyone, including the city, has been aware of this timeline for many months. There will be testing completed in the coming weeks that will be provided to the city, so that a final report can be completed in November,” he added.
The staff report acknowledges the circumstances are “unusual,” given Porter Airlines approached the city directly without seeking the initial support of the airport owner and operator, the Toronto Port Authority and the regulator, Transport Canada.
Opponents like the citizens group NoJetsTO worry that a decision will be made without all the information needed, such as the potential danger of bird strikes.
“There is only nine weeks to do all of these studies, to have a fair and balanced look,” said spokesman Anshul Kapoor. “What’s the rush?”
Paul Beford: Jets Will Destroy Balance on Toronto's Waterfront September 17, 2013 TORONTO - Toronto City Council will soon have to decide whether to allow passengers jets to operate at Billy Bishop Airport, a decision that will have a 100-year impact on our central waterfront. This decision will be critical to the long-established public goal of creating a balance of uses and activities where existing and future generations can live, work and play. If passenger jets are allowed, this fundamental public goal will be overtaken by a private one.
The key issues for city council to consider are: the negative ground-related impacts of an expanded airport on the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood; the threat to ongoing revitalization of the central waterfront; and the inability to control the future expansion of Billy Bishop Airport.
Over the past 30 years, council has transformed Bathurst Quay into a vibrant mixed-use neighbourhood comprising a diverse mix of low and midrise residential buildings, Little Norway Park and the Harbourfront School and Community Centre, in addition to local retail shops and office uses. The sole vehicular and pedestrian access to Billy Bishop Airport is on Lower Bathurst Street, which separates Harbourfront School and Little Norway Park.
The airport’s existing annual passenger volume of more than 2 million has resulted in vehicular and pedestrian conflicts at Queens Quay and Bathurst Street as a long line of taxis wait on the east side of Little Norway Park and Porter buses pick up and drop off passengers. These conflicts intensify dramatically at key times in the morning and afternoon when students enter and exit the school. If jet service is permitted, the projected annual passenger volume will double to 4 million. Intensified ground-related conflicts will overwhelm the quality of life for the Bathurst Quay community.
Since its formation in 1999 by the governments of Canada, Ontario and Toronto, Waterfront Toronto has made huge strides in transforming our central waterfront into a vibrant, diverse and attractive public place that residents and visitors enjoy. The three governments have invested extensively in public amenities that have attracted private sector development, including Corus Entertainment, George Brown College and an emerging neighbourhood in the West Don Lands.
This positive cycle is continuing in such areas as East Bayfront and the Port Lands based on the full knowledge that the existing tripartite agreement allowing only turboprop passenger service at the island airport would be respected.
The key to ongoing transformation of the central waterfront is balance. The appeal of the waterfront is that no one activity dominates or overpowers. Toronto’s waterfront is shared by those who live, work and visit.
For the vast majority of Torontonians, the waterfront is their “cottage” and is the one place in our city that belongs to everyone. Enjoying a concert, dining in one of many restaurants, visiting the numerous festivals or simply taking a stroll along the water’s edge are activities that must always be preserved. Should passenger jets be permitted, these special experiences and the ongoing revitalization agenda of Waterfront Toronto would be put at risk.
Perhaps the most serious issue for council to address is that the scale of the airport operation will no longer be controllable. To date, Porter has successfully built up a niche service catering to a business clientele travelling to cities within an approximate 800-1,000-kilometre radius. The construction of the pedestrian tunnel connecting the airport to the foot of Bathurst Street is designed to enhance these qualities. However, the stated goal of Porter is to cater to leisure passengers by offering jet service to western Canadian cities, California, Florida and the Caribbean. This does not equate to economic benefits associated with business destinations.
Finally, if passenger jet service is permitted it would not be restricted for the exclusive use of Porter Airlines. Other airlines would also want to compete. Billy Bishop Airport should not become a mini-Pearson nor does it have the size or space to become one. The scale of ground operations needed to handle double the number of existing passengers is totally different. This is not a debate about holding back a homegrown company. This is about honouring an agreement made to respect the public vision for the central waterfront that was unanimously adopted by Toronto City Council in 2003.
Toronto only has one waterfront and its future now rests in the hands of city council. Why would we ever surrender it to a private interest?Paul Bedford is an adjunct professor of urban and regional planning at the University of Toronto and Ryerson University and was Toronto’s former Chief Planner. Source: Toronto Star op-ed
The Globe and Mail Features NoJetsTO in its Article on the CS100 Maiden Flight September 16, 2013 TORONTO - Much-anticipated first flight tests of Bombardier’s C Series aircraft, expected Monday, are part of a lengthy approval process and won’t immediately determine how the jets would perform with Porter Airlines’ controversial expansion plan at the Toronto Islands airport. Noise levels and the required runway length for takeoff and landing are particularly key in the fight over Porter’s plan introduced in April to lengthen the existing runway by 168 metres at both ends into the water. The industry has been anxiously waiting the initial test flights, which will give the first full indications of whether Bombardier’s 110- to 125-seat CS100 jet aircraft will be able to perform to its promised specifications. Porter’s deal with Bombardier Inc., also announced in April, to buy up to 30 CS100s hinges on meeting those specifications. Earlier this month, Porter introduced a second proposal to extend the runway by 200 metres in both directions, which, according to Porter, would result in less noise by enabling the jet planes to use less power for takeoff. Opponents of the planned expansion say that Porter’s president and chief executive officer Robert Deluce has been calling the planes “whisper jets” and using other market terms without any real testing to back up the claims. “So far what we’ve seen is hypothetical data and marketing tactics from Rob Deluce, such as ‘whisper jets,’” said Anshul Kapoor, a waterfront resident and spokesman for the No Jets T.O. campaign. “Even Bombardier does not use that term as of yet, but we see it plastered everywhere. “We finally get to see what this plane is,” Mr. Kapoor added. Porter is confident the testing will remain on schedule. “We are satisfied with the progress to date and expect the test program to ramp up this year,” said Porter spokesman Brad Cicero. “Bombardier will be providing updated test data on the CS100 to the city as part of its ongoing review of our proposal. We expect that this updated data will meet the city’s established timelines.” Transport Canada ultimately certifies the planes in a lengthy five-phase process, from its design to any post-flight changes that may be necessary. Most of the certification process occurs in the current, flight-testing phase. Much of the latest testing has been on the tarmac, including high-speeding taxiing and landing-gear tests requiring “optimal weather conditions,” said Marianella de la Barrera, a spokeswoman for Bombardier. Once in the air, how much is tested is determined by test pilots and flight conditions. “They have a very specific list, but we won’t know what they actually tested until they come down,” Ms. de la Barrera said. “We won’t get that information and be debriefed until the flight crew returns. The number one thing that the first [flight] will do will be to validate the performance envelope of the C Series” – in other words, whether it performs the basics it was designed to do. “We’re pretty good at designing and having the aircraft perform to its performance envelope,” she said. “We’re quite comfortable in that we’re putting a relatively mature aircraft into the air.” She noted that 200 suppliers have been testing their components on the ground. “So the amount of de-risking that we’ve done on the first aircraft is quite high,” she said. Mr. Kapoor said Friday that No Jets T.O. will be following the tests. “From our perspective, we congratulate Bombardier for the imminent flight. It’s something that we want to see land at Pearson airport, and not the Island airport.” Bombardier says the process to test and certify the aircraft will likely take months. Source: The Globe and Mail article
Toronto Standard Article "How Porter Could Convince Us That an Airport Expansion Isn't a Bad Idea" Features NoJetsTO September 13, 2013 TORONTO - In lieu of new developments in the transit or crack files, the sexy story of the day is Porter’s proposed plan to expand the island airport’s runway by paving hundreds of metres into the lake, then changing the current law banning jets from flying out of downtown. The anti-Porter contingent has compared this standoff to the citizen-led casino resistance that proved strong enough to defeat all that sleazy Vegas money and lobbying, but the two are not parallel. Whereas Vegas conglomerates are the closest thing possible to flagrant villains, enough people agree that Porter as it currently stands is great. I’d drink free espresso in their lobby everyday if I didn’t need to buy a plane ticket for access. Whereas employees throughout Pearson airport torture commuters either for sheer pleasure or to advance their career, Porter staff aren’t just normal, but in my experience quite pleasant. Free beer and Terra chips on a flight purchased at 50% discount wins fans. So while Porter’s plan has aroused opposition, it’s not quite on the same scale as the casino. The casino was denounced by a robust cross-section of experts from varying fields. If our prolonged casino debacle played out there, Jews and Palestinians would finally unite as one. But Porter provides a substantial service people love, it’s not at all an outright scam. The casino advocates and Porter both used huge ad campaigns, and they’re literally using the same people to grease the wheels at city hall, but this is only a superficial similarity. It doesn’t reflect on the merits of the proposed expansion per se. But imagine the public resistance if Porter tried this current plan in 2006, before we were so enamoured by free beer. No company is altruistic forever—if a friend gives me beer, he’ll eventually ask me to help move a couch up narrow stairs. Porter’s recent intrusion on city hall, tasking our bureaucrats to study their self-interested plan for jets, has made me wonder if all the goodwill Porter has rightly-earned over the years isn’t just a ploy to develop a public following that wouldn’t only refrain from opposing the big loud dirty jets, it would clamour for them. Jets are obviously, viscerally loud, and unsurprisingly this objection has attracted the bulk of the focus, if not all of it. Anticipating this, Porter called the C-Series jets planned for their new fleet “whisper jets,” even before a prototype of the plane itself existed. But some councillors fear that once the runway is lengthened, they won’t have jurisdiction to restrict what type of jet is used. So even if the “whisper jet” has a mute button, we might very well hear other jets, private or commercial, the type the original tri-partite agreement thought prudent to ban from the downtown core. The best thing preventing large jets from flying there now isn’t an agreement or the law, which even Ryerson University flaunts, but that the runway is physically too short. Enforcing Toronto’s laws may be a joke, but the the laws of physics bend for no man. Anyway, perhaps in tacit acknowledgement of their real volume, Porter announced (only the evening before a public consultation) their plan to pave an additional 32 metres at each end of the runway, adding to the original 168-metre extension on either side into the lake. A longer runway allows for less thrust during takeoffs and other “noise abatement procedures,” they say. Depending on how you see it, either their need to pave even further into the lake is proof that the original plan wasn’t sufficiently quiet, or Porter seeks to pave their way into our hearts by making the alleged “whisper” even more hushed. Just this Monday, Bombardier tested the CS-100 at their Quebec headquarters before an anxious audience both live and streaming online. It played out as if scripted by Porter to show off the plane’s alleged silence. The whooping audience raucously applauded as the plane did what we bet with our lives it will do each time we fly: take off and land without exploding. But, as if the feuding parties here somehow got alternate turns controlling fate, on Tuesday, the day after Bombardier’s demonstration, the city announced that the jet’s crucial noise study data would not be available in time for the December meeting when city council is to vote on whether or not to grant Porter the go-ahead. Nonetheless, a Porter spokesman insisted that the testing will be done in time. Indeed, Bombardier, which stands to gain a good contract if the airport expands, told city staff that the manufacturer delivered the engine to a facility for evaluation. Yes, but the city’s aviation consultants said this doesn’t conform to international testing standards, and that the engine needed to be tested on the aircraft’s frame during an actual flight. Also, the annual assessment by Transport Canada “does not take into account how aircraft noise is actually perceived by individuals or affected by atmospheric conditions around the airport.” In other words, it’s unclear how loud they will be perceived by us on the ground when they fly over, and it can change with the weather. There isn’t one all-encompassing test called “airplane volume.” Nobody should be comfortable making a decision without knowing how loud they’ll be. Porter will never say, “we tested the jets and turns out they’re really loud.” So they’re hopelessly biased, but with all the corporate lobbying going on it’s important that the city, let alone Porter, remain unbiased (maybe it’s too late). But it’s crucial to remember that there are many other objections besides the noise. There’s a range of environmental concerns, from how increased pollution affects Lake Ontario, the source of our drinking water, to how toxic emissions from jets is linked to increases in cancer and bronchitis. The organization NoJetsTO directs us to a letter written by Toronto’s Medical Officer of Health, addressed to the mayor, citing these and several other concerns. The letter compares our proposed airport to the one in Santa Monica, which for proximity to a city centre is analogous. The verdict is clear: “our personal assessment is to stop this in its tracks. It is unhealthy and dangerous.” So while critics of the airport expansion don’t seem quite as ubiquitous as the casino’s, they should be taken seriously; they are not just a handful of condo dwellers looking to preserve the value of their units. (And: why does a condo next to an airport decrease in value so drastically if airports aren’t noisy or a serious source of pollution?) If it could be proved that the airport expansion was invasively loud and an environmental and health catastrophe, those currently in favour, save Robert Deluce, would likely change their minds. On the other hand, if testing was demonstrably impartial and thorough, and proved that the expansion and the use of jets was not invasive on the ears and posed no health or environmental risks of any type, a convenient airport run by a company we all love compared to Air Canada would be approved by current critics. It all hinges on these tests. But in this current climate of corporate lobbying, ad-driven frenzy, and Porter’s insistence that the testing will be completed in time despite city experts giving news of the opposite, even a positive test result giving Porter the go-ahead would be suspicious, and would cast the integrity of the entire process into doubt. In theory, if Porter can meet my burden of proof, I am open to their plans for expansion. But my instinct tells me they cannot, unless with money and misguided but popular support they fudge or skirt the process altogether. That very well might happen. Then the city that enhanced its majestic waterfront by building not a bench or a boardwalk but a highway will finish the job. –––– Jeff Halperin is a Toronto-based writer. You can follow him on Twitter @JDhalperin. For more, follow us on Twitter @TorontoStandard and subscribe to our newsletter. __________ Source: Toronto Standard article, 2013-09-13