BBTCA and Environmental Assessment Feedback – Runway End Safety Areas

This is the fifth in a series of comments CommunityAIR submitted on Wednesday, May 20, on the Proposed Environmental Assessment (EA) Study Design/Scope in what has been described by people with experience in such matters as a sham EA.

The PortsToronto consultant, AECOM, proposes to consider public comments in deciding the final study components that AECOM will use to serve PortsToronto’s purpose in conducting the sham EA.

CommunityAIR’s comments cover 11 subject areas, are extensive and pointed, and are best digested slowly. They are listed below and will be presented individually over the next few weeks.  The comment today is about RESAs.

A Runway End Safety Area (RESA) is an area at the end of a runway that allows for an aircraft that undershoots or overshoots the runway to minimize damage to the aircraft. See RESA_Explained for a fuller account.

Subject Areas

1. Bias
2. Public Interest and Policy
3. Climate Change
4. Flawed EA Design
5. Runway End Safety Areas
6. Permitted and Proposed Growth Scenarios
7. Compliance with Tripartite Agreement
8. Bird Hazard Zone
9. Immense Existing Subsidies from City and Federal Government
10. Transportation
11. Emergency Response and Access

5. Runway End Safety Areas

300m RESAs (or an equivalently effective backup method) were strongly recommended for all commercial airports in Canada after Air France Flight 358 ran off the end of the runway at Pearson in 2005.

The United States has required RESAs of 300m since 1989.

Internationally, 300m has been the standard since 1999.

Transport Canada has dithered on this key safety requirement for, now, decades.

The Island Airport has minimal RESAs. It can meet international standards now, by shortening the existing runway.

By continuing to ignore safety standards, it places unacceptable risk of injury or death on its passengers.

It is only a matter of time before an aircraft runs off the end of the Island Airport’s runway, into the deep water off each end of the runway.

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