Star Article Shows Widespread Opposition to Jet Plans Beyond Waterfront, Features NoJetsTO Statements September 10, 2013 TORONTO - Of course, the usual waterfront condo-dwelling suspects came to question, criticize, and heckle the proposed Billy Bishop airport expansion Monday night, but concern over Porter’s plan to bring jets downtown was not limited to the airport’s neighbours. There was the man from Bloor and Runnymede concerned about flyover “jackhammer” jet sound, “Gord from the Beaches” who has a flight path over his house, and a doctor concerned about black carbon. The only member of the public who made a conditionally supportive statement splits his time between Toronto and Vancouver, and urged the crowd to consider the national interest of more airline competition. But he wanted to know if the city could ensure there would be protection against West Jet buying Porter. “The city is in a difficult position dictating terms to a private enterprise,” said Christopher Dunn, a city project manager. In April, Porter Airlines announced it had conditionally ordered 12 of Bombardier’s new CSeries jets, which are able to fly further than the current crop of Q400 turboprops, to destinations like Vancouver. Before Porter can fly jets downtown, it must win changes to a tripartite agreement that governs airport operations, namely lifting a ban on jets and approving a runway expansion. The public consultation is looking at how Porter’s request would impact noise, economics, land use, marine assessments, public health, and transportation in Toronto. Staff are aiming to have a report before council by December. Before the Metro Hall meeting Monday night, deeply skeptical people browsed display boards on aviation and marine impacts, and asked pointed questions, giving the undertaking the feel of a somewhat hostile science fair. A common word muttered between people united in opposition: “Ridiculous.” One woman told a Porter employee with an airplane lapel pin that the airport had done “horrible things” to the Bathurst Quay Community. “You don’t live there,” she said. “Yes I do,” he said. Claire Sparks, who has lived in the airport neighbourhood for 27 years says she feels like she was a victim of “bait and switch.” She bought there knowing about the tripartite agreement, which was meant to keep the airport small, she says. She thinks Porter is excellent to fly, but the noise is disruptive. “When there’s a faint rain in the air it feels like they’re coming in through my living room,” she says, laughing. “I’ve even told (Porter CEO Robert) Deluce that.” City staff and consultants gave presentations in a large meeting room filled to capacity. Downtown councillors Adam Vaughan and Pam McConnell were there. Concerns were many and varied — the financial future of Porter Airlines, traffic, the waterfront revitalization. A number of people expressed concern that studies, such as one on health effects — weren’t yet available. People heard that film studios are concerned about the noise, major corporate accounts view the airport largely as a benefit, and that condo developers say that the under-40 group moving downtown want to use the airport for business and leisure. The room also heard that the cap on flights — 202 a day — is expected to remain the same — but the jets will increase capacity by 15 per cent. Whether the new jets will meet noise requirements is still unknown as they are still in development. “The aircraft has yet to be tested,” aviation consultant Martin Leprohon said to snickers. “It just feels that the entire process for this issue, for this contentious issue that is going to affect our waterfront for a lifetime — it’s irreversible, if you fill in the lake even an inch it’s irreversible — it feels as if it’s being rushed, it feels as if there is a mandate to get this done sooner rather than later and not pay the attention that is required for this issue,” said Anshul Kapoor of NoJetsTO. The city announced that a town hall meeting scheduled for later this week will be bumped back to Sept. 19, so residents can have more time to review technical reports. That date may still change due to a scheduling conflict brought up Monday evening. When told that both Porter and the Toronto Port Authority would be at the next meeting, a voice called out from the back of the room: “We don’t want to hear from them.” Source: Toronto Star article
680 News Reports on Public Consultations, NoJetsTO Support from Toronto Labour Council September 9, 2013 TORONTO – A second public consultation meeting about plans for Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport was held at Metro Hall, Monday evening. It centred around a proposal from Porter Airlines to extend the runway to enable it to fly small passenger jets out of the island airport. The meeting comes on the same day the Toronto and York Region Labour Council gave its support to the No Jets T-O group, which opposes Porter’s plan. Meantime, a Town Hall meeting originally scheduled for Thursday, September 12 regarding the same issue has been postponed by a week, and will now be held September 19. This is in response to residents asking for more to review the consultants’ technical reports and other related reports. The city has also invited both Porter Airlines and the Toronto Port Authority to the September 19 meeting. It will be held at the Direct Energy Centre, starting at 6 p.m. Source: 680 News article
Newstalk 1010 Reports on Skewed Toronto Port Authority with Misleading Question on Jets September 9, 2013 TORONTO - An organization that is fighting Porter's jet proposal says a survey commissioned by the Toronto Port Authority is "bogus." The survey shows that the majority of people using Billy Bishop airport are leisure travellers, the type that Porter Airlines wants to cater to with jets. The survey also shows that a third of those asked have used the island airport. But Tim Ehlich with NoJetsTO says the survey is misleading. He says a statement at the start of the survey only mentions the positive aspect of the proposal. "There's nothing about the impact on public health. There's nothing about the impact on the environment," he says. And that, he says, led participants to specific answers. NoJetsTO accuses the TPA of being biased, even though the authority has said it is leaving it up to city council to make a decision on jets. "Without the airport, [the TPA] wouldn't be profitable," Ehlich says. "We think that the TPA is clearly in cahoots with Porter Airlines." Source: Newstalk 1010 article
Jets on Waterfront Pose Risk to Public Health: Read the Physician's Letter to the Editor September 8, 2013 TORONTO - Re: City shocked by proposal to extend runway, Sept. 5
Robert Deluce’s last-minute proposal to extend the runway into the lake is part of an already disastrous plan to have extended service with jets at the island airport. A health impact assessment is underway by Toronto Public Health but previous studies of similar situations of communities in such close proximity to jets have shown that this is a dangerous and unhealthy situation. It is indeed “ill-conceived.”
Dr. Miriam Garfinkle, Toronto
Dr. Miriam Garfinkle has endorsed NoJetsTO: read her letter to the City of Toronto staff here
NOW Magazine's Top 3 Event Picks of the Week Includes Public Consultation Info, NoJetsTO Criticism of City Brochure September 5, 2013 TORONTO - Wanna help head off expansion of the Island Airport? Here’s an opportunity to sound off on the possibility of jets roaring in and out of our downtown. A public consultation happens Monday (September 9), and despite the fact that No Jets T.O. is complaining that the city’s backgrounder for the occasion is biased and could have been scribed by Porter lobbyists, all naysayers and skeptics should come on down. Metro Hall, 55 John, rooms 308-9. Drop-in 6 to 7 pm, workshop 7 to 9 pm. Free. 416-395-1211. Source: NOW Magazine website
Toronto Star: Porter's Push to Add 400 Metres to Total Length at Island Airport has Opponents of Plan Seeing Red September 4, 2013 TORONTO - City officials were blindsided by Porter Airlines' latest proposal to extend the runway at Toronto's island airport even farther into the lake so jets can land there. "We only received it yesterday afternoon. We haven't had a chance to review it or consult with our consultants," said Christopher Dunn, the city's project manager overseeing the review of Porter's expansion plans, at the outset of the first general public consultations held Wednesday. Deputy city manager John Livey acknowledged: "It obviously sends us back to the drawing board. We have to look at it." Porter spokesman Brad Cicero said the airline didn't give the city any advance warning of the new proposal, sent Tuesday, that calls for a runway extension of 200 metres at each end - longer than the original 168 metres at each end. "We thought it was important to present it to them with the public consultations taking place," Cicero said in an interview. "Obviously, this is some new information, but it's not going to be starting at Square 1," he said, noting that studies on economic impact or traffic congestion would be unaffected. "A lot of the work on the 168-metre runway version should be applicable to the 200-metre version." After Dunn outlined the studies that have been done, the meeting quickly fell apart as the angry crowd at Fort York accused city officials of touting the Porter plan to lift the ban on jets at the airport. Others, noting it takes years for the city to make a decision on transit, said the process was being rushed, with a recommendation due in December. "I have no confidence that the city wants to represent me," said Teresa Ascencao, a design teacher at OCAD University. "It's outrageous. We're not stupid. Nobody believes the city. It's being pushed through." Community Air chair Brian Iler added the city's brochures and information do not include opposing views, rather focus on the economic benefits of the airport. "Why should we trust the process when the process to date has been so appallingly awful?" he asked. Sensing fury and frustration among the 200 participants in the room, city officials abandoned plans to break out into smaller groups, opting instead for a question-and-answer session, though dozens of participants walked out. Porter CEO Robert Deluce told the Star that both runway extensions are viable, and he doesn't favour one over another, though the longer runway will offer benefits, including less noise on takeoff. "Our objective has always been to design a runway that doesn't change the enjoyment of Lake Ontario by Torontonians," Deluce said. "Both achieve that objective." Other benefits would be that the runway would serve as a natural breakwater at the Western Gap, making it easier for boaters to navigate through, and possibly reducing sediment buildup there, Deluce added. "We are not saying one is better or worse," he said. "We are putting the option on the table. It's for others to decide." In April, Porter Airlines announced that it placed a conditional order for 12 of Bombardier's new CSeries jets that could fly to destinations as far away as Vancouver or Miami. Its current fleet of Q400 turboprops limits it to regional flying. Bombardier's all-new aircraft, made of composite materials and a quieter engine, is due to have its maiden flight within weeks. It received a flight permit last Friday, but high-speed taxiing tests, scheduled for this week, were postponed due to rain at Mirabel airport. "There are a lot of unknowns," said Anshul Kapoor, head of the citizens group NOJetsTO, opposed to Porter's expansion plans. "We don't know what this plane needs. This plane hasn't even taken its first flight yet." Before Porter can operate the new CS100 jet, it must win changes to a tripartite agreement that governs operations at the airport, including lifting the ban on jets as well as permission to lengthen the runway. Several participants at Fort York asked why the city was rushing the studies through with the goal of delivering a final report to executive committee by December with a final vote by city council later that month. But Livey said officials are responding in an expedited process as ordered by city council, based on a formal request submitted by Porter Airlines. Councillor Adam Vaughan has always insisted that Porter's original proposal of 168 metres at either end was simply not long enough for the plane. "This is a really bad idea that just got worse," he said. Vaughan questioned Deluce's assertion that boaters would be unaffected and the marine exclusion zone untouched. He also worries that if the jet ban is lifted, it will open the door to other commercial planes as well as noisy corporate jets to land there. Source: Toronto Star article
CBC Features NoJetsTO Prominently in CBC News Broadcast and Article September 4, 2013 TORONTO - Opponents of a proposal to extend the runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport are angry that Porter Airlines has requested an even bigger expansion less than a day before public consultation on the project is set to begin.
http://www.cbc.ca/video/swf/UberPlayer.swf?state=sharevideo&clipId=2404146121&width=480&height=322In June, Porter put forward a proposal to extend the island airport’s east-west runway into Lake Ontario by 168 metres on each end. Then Tuesday night, Porter put forward a second proposal that calls for each end of the airport to be extended by 200 metres. The second proposal comes as the city is set to host the first in a series of public meetings about the project this afternoon. Porter wants the runway lengthened to accommodate Bombardier CS100 jets. The company has placed a conditional order for 12 CS100s. Porter currently flies Q400 turboprops from the island airport. If Porter is able to move forward with its plans, the airline says it will be able to expand service to new destinations, such as Los Angeles, Florida, Calgary and the Caribbean. Interviewed on Metro Morning Wednesday, Porter CEO Robert Deluce said the longer runway would allow the planes to use less power during takeoff, resulting in reduced noise. “Our objective has always been to design the best possible runway to allow Torontonians to continue to enjoy the waterfront, especially boaters,” Deluce told host Matt Galloway. Before the runway can be extended, Porter will first need to amend an existing tripartite agreement between the city, the federal government and the Toronto Port Authority. As part of that process, the city will hold two public consultation workshops about the issue. The first meeting is set for this afternoon, the second is scheduled for Monday. The consultation process will continue with a town hall meeting on Sept. 12. The city is also gathering feedback about the issue online. The proposal will go before the city's executive committee in December. Groups opposed fear noise, environmental damage A group of downtown residents are opposed to the expansion plans, citing concerns about noise and potential environmental damage to Lake Ontario. Anshul Kapoor is with the group No Jets T.O. and says Porter's latest request comes too late. “City staff has not had the time and due diligence to analyze this request,” said Kapoor. “Yet, they have to present it to the public at the public consultation and try and get their feedback." Kapoor said flying jets in and out of the airport will further industrialize the waterfront, making it a less enjoyable place for residents. However Deluce said the C-series jets, which are not yet in service, “are the quietest commercial jets in production.” Galloway asked Deluce about rumours that Porter was rewarding people who support their proposal by entering them in a draw for free airline tickets. “There’s never been any linkage between support that we receive ... and the occasional giveaway that we have on radio shows and elsewhere,” Deluce said. Source: CBC article
National Post Calls NoJetsTO "Prominent Opponent" in Article on Runway Extension Push September 4, 2013 TORONTO — A contentious plan to land jets at the Toronto island airport got more complicated Tuesday, with Porter Airlines saying a jet-friendly runway may need to be 64 metres longer than anticipated. Although the initial plan was to extend the runway by 168 metres on both sides, it may need to be extended into Lake Ontario by a total of 400 metres, the Toronto-based airline said Tuesday. In a statement, Porter Airlines assured Lake Ontario boaters that the extra runway would “not change the enjoyment of Lake Ontario by Torontonians.” “The buoy that boats navigate around when passing through the Western Gap does not move, so there is no material change to access,” said Porter Airlines president Robert Deluce in the statement. In fact, it would enhance navigation by “providing a breakwater for wave protection and reducing sediment build-up in the area,” it reads. NoJetsTO, a prominent opponent of the plan, called the announcement “another bombshell in [Porter Airlines'] quest to ruin the waterfront with jet aircraft” and said the expansion would turn “even more of Lake Ontario into tarmac.” In April, Porter Airlines announced its plan to outfit Billy Bishop Airport for jet aircraft, arguing that the downtown terminal could offer flights to Florida, Vancouver and Los Angeles by as early as 2016. Source: National Post article
City News Report on New Porter Proposal, Quoting NoJetsTO Concern About Impact on Lake, Boaters and Environment September 4, 2013
http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1TORONTO -Porter Airlines wants to extend its main runway farther into Lake Ontario to reduce noise concerns as it tries to bring jets to Toronto’s island airport.
Porter said in a letter to city officials Tuesday it’s proposing a second option that would add another 32 metres to each end of the runway for a total of 200 metres into the lake on each side. In April, Porter said it conditionally purchased up to 30 Bombardier CS-100 jets for $2.08 billion and would seek permission to fly the jets out of the island airport where it currently flies Q400 turboprops. Jets are prohibited from flying at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport under a tripartite agreement between the municipal, provincial and federal governments. The city launched a review of that agreement in May after Porter’s first proposal to extend its runway by 168 metres into the water on each end. On Wednesday, a Porter spokesman said the airline expects both options to be considered at the same time during the city review. “Either scenario is viable and Porter supports either choice,” Brad Cicero told CityNews.ca in an email. “Both options are also acceptable in terms of sound requirements,” he added. “The 200 metre scenario does allow for use of reduced take-off power, which can make the CS100 even quieter.” Grassroots group NoJetsTO described the latest proposal as a “bombshell.” The group has said the airport expansion would put water quality, marine flora and fauna at risk. It also said excessive noise, air pollution and traffic would reduce the quality of life for Torontonians. “Boaters and other lake users will pay the price for [Porter CEO Robert] Deluce turning even more of Lake Ontario into tarmac for his jets,” NoJetsTO chair Anshul Kapoor said in a release. The latest proposal comes as city officials begin a series of public consultations on the issue. Residents have a chance to voice their opinion on island airport jets at workshops beginning Wednesday. There is also a town hall meeting slated for Sept.12 at Exhibition Place. Click here for more details. City staff will provide the mayor’s executive committee with an update on Sept. 24.Source: City News article
CTV News Reports on Porter's New Runway Propsal, Quoting NoJetsTO Prominently September 4, 2013 TORONTO - Porter Airlines is looking to expand its Toronto island airport even further into Lake Ontario than originally proposed. In June, the airline said it wanted to extend the main runway of Toronto's Billy Bishop airport by an additional 168 metres at each end. Porter now wants to add 200 metres at each end. Opponents of the expansion call the new proposal a “slap in the face.” The city is holding a public consultation meeting on the project on Wednesday afternoon. There will also be a town hall meeting on Sept. 12. “To release this less than 24 hours before the first public consultation is, from our perspective, a slap in the face of due process,” No Jets T.O.’s Anshul Kapoor told CTV Toronto. Porter says the additional runway space is needed to accommodate bigger planes that can fly directly to destinations like Los Angeles, Florida, Calgary and the Caribbean. The company has already placed a conditional order with Bombardier for 12 CS100 jets, with 18 options, worth about US$2.08 billion. In addition to longer flights, Porter CEO Robert Deluce says the longer runway would also cut down on noise, since planes won’t have to use as much energy during takeoff. “It allows for certain noise abatement procedures for having to use less power at takeoff and, of course, the runway extension itself acts as a certain breakwater and allows less sediment build up and probably less wave action in that western channel,” Deluce told CTV Toronto. “So, boaters will probably be pleased with that one.” Kapoor doesn’t buy it, calling it just another attempt to pave even more of Lake Ontario. “Really? Is that what we're looking at? An extension into the water, annexing 1,300 feet – actually upwards of 1,300 feet – and that would make boating better for Torontonians?” he said. “This is our lake. This is not Porter’s lake. This is not Toronto Port Authority’s lake. This is our lake and we will protect it.” In a statement released Wednesday, Porter clarified that both runway options are acceptable. "The 168 metre proposal is still a very good option and one that we support,” Deluce said in the statement. “The 200 metre option is another scenario that provides other benefits we believe are worth considering." In response, No Jets T.O. accused Deluce of backpedalling, saying Deluce is attempting damage control as their plan faces increased scrutiny. “It’s clear that Porter didn’t vet its original proposal properly,” the group said, before reiterating opposition to the plan.
Source: CTV News article