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Jets at Billy Bishop airport?

"Pierre Poilievre might be winging it, but Toronto Islands need to change. Opponents of jets need to focus on the untapped potential of Toronto Islands, touting the virtues of a better public space."

By Matt Elliott, Contributing Columnist

The Toronto Star Tue., July 26, 2022

Toronto Island Airport

“... let’s thank Poilievre for pushing the airport back into the spotlight. A debate over its future was always inevitable. The tripartite agreement governing Billy Bishop is set to expire in 2033. It needs to be proactively renewed by Toronto council, Ports Toronto and the federal government to allow the airport to continue operating. A decision must be made. The clock is ticking."

Added to that, there’s the growing sense that the status quo model, where the airport is limited to offering shorter flights using propeller planes, is an unsustainable business. Porter has been in a legal battle with Nieuport Aviation – owners of the island airport terminal – over the cost of parking their planes at Billy Bishop. Legal documents indicate Porter has claimed the costs are so onerous, compared to the money they can make with their current map of destinations, that they may decamp to Pearson."

Making better use of the islands certainly doesn’t require the airport to close. But the looming need to make a decision over the future of the airport is a real opportunity to commit to a new vision for something bigger, better and bolder.


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