CommunityAIR – working towards a clean, green waterfront
Karygiannis Refuses to Accept Reality
Island Airport Jets Dead IS Liberal Policy
For Immediate Release Thursday, October 22, 2015
Contact: Brian Iler, Chair
City Councillor Jim Karygiannis is being mischievous in suggesting the federal Liberals’ decision to refuse jets at the Island Airport requires consultation with Toronto.
The Tripartite Agreement, which currently bans jets, is signed by three parties – the City, Ports Toronto, and the federal government. Any change requires the approval of all three.
The federal government has every right to indicate now that its vision for Toronto’s waterfront does not include jets.
“There is no question that Adam Vaughan, a prominent member of the federal Liberal caucus, has authority to speak for the new federal government. He has confirmed that authority to CommunityAIR as recently as yesterday. Jets are dead.” said Brian Iler, chair of CommunityAIR.
The Tripartite Agreement, signed in 1983, constrains the operations of the Island Airport for the protection of its residential and recreational uses. It was amended by the agreement of all parties in 1985 to permit a predecessor of the Q400 (the Q400 is off‑side the agreement’s requirements), and in 2003 to allow a bridge (subsequently halted by then PM Paul Martin).
There are a host of reasons buttressing the federal government’s action. They include these:
1) As a recent report stated, an expanded airport won’t meet safety standards.
2) Airport noise is already often unbearable. Adding jets makes it worse. Utterly incompatible with a waterfront enjoyed by millions.
4) Aviation safety will require drastic measures in a vast swath of Toronto’s waterfront ‑ including the Islands and the Spit ‑ to curb Toronto waterfront wildfowl, as it would at the proposed Pickering Airport. Even Porter’s Robert Deluce has confirmed that:
“Mr. Deluce said the risk Porter faces from bird strikes is reduced by the type of aircraft it flies. “We’re using turboprops,” he said. “They handle bird strikes better than jets.”
5) Emergency services cannot cope with a crash on the Island, let alone the water. A 1993 report, prepared by experts, was relied upon by (then) PoTo CEO Lisa Raitt when she said, in 2003:
“The fixed link is a public safety issue. The need for a bridge to get emergency equipment to the airport quickly was identified by an intergovernmental committee almost 10 years ago. In the event of an emergency, it could take up to two hours.
That study considered a 50-passenger crash. The proposed CS 100 carries 108 to 133 passengers.
No subsequent study has been conducted to assure potential passengers that sufficient emergency access is available (CommunityAIR has asked, repeatedly).
6) The infrastructure at the airport, and on the City side, required to cope with jets could cost $1,000,000,000. Neither Ports Toronto nor Porter have given any indication they have the willingness – or ability – to finance that. Last year, Ports Toronto sought scarce federal infrastructure funds for this project, unsuccessfully.
Given far higher priorities for public funds elsewhere, the jets project cannot be financed.