BBTCA and Environmental Assessment Feedback – Permitted and Proposed Growth Scenarios

This is the sixth 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.

Permitted and Proposed Growth Scenarios deal with greater Billy Bishop Toronto Center Airport (BBTCA) even greater passenger numbers based on PortsToronto projections. But how realistic are these projections?

The number of departing passengers paying the PortsToronto Airport Improvement Fee (AIF), according to PortsToroto MD&A documents, has shown at best tepid growth over the last three years.

AIF Paying passengers 2012 - 2014 incl

PortsToronto claims that Porter Airlines and Air Canada are responsible for 59,000 commercial flights annually. Thus for the years 2013 to 2014 inclusive, the two airlines accounted for fewer than two additional passengers for each flight for each of those years or an average 2.5% growth – hardly a reason to expand an airport let alone to base high growth scenarios on.

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

6. Permitted and Proposed Growth Scenarios

Beginning on page 12, Permitted and Proposed Growth Scenarios are defined and discussed, both assuming vast increases in passenger numbers through the Airport.

This has an air of fantasy, in that even Porter’s Master Planner advised the recent public meeting that Porter’s business is currently “mature” – it has ceased to grow, and, without additional destinations, would not be anticipated to grow materially.

This became clear when Porter abruptly ceased to report its sales data, after that data revealed in April, 2013 that it had been selling fewer seats in five of the last seven months reported, compared to the year before (RPM is Revenue Passenger Miles, or the miles its planes fly, times the number of seats occupied in those flights):

RPM Bar Chart

If so, then the current level of operation must be considered as the most realistic and given due weight ﷓ not Mr. Deluce’s fantasy expansions.

 

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