This is Ron Jenkin’s reply to a “puffy Porter promotion piece.” This is the link to the “puff piece,” followed by Ron’s reply. Editor’s note
The world’s best airline hits turbulence
As Air Canada notes, Porter is free to provide its (alleged) quality service (the volumes of complaints about its service are nicely catalogued here
) at Pearson.
What keeps it at the Island Airport is that monopoly – which is seriously subsidized by the taxpayer through abject failure to pay its fair share of property taxes, and by minimal charges for the use of the airport’s 215 acres of extremely valuable public property.
With the arrival of UP Express, providing fast and inexpensive train service to Pearson, one can often get to Pearson faster than you can to the Island Airport, given the frequently gridlocked streets.
Always ignored by Porter boosters is just how emergency access in the event of a crash, or even an aircraft running off the end of the runway, could be handled. A 1993 expert study
(not updated or considered since) insisted a vehicle bridge was essential for the required access.
Any expansion of the Island Airport would be hugely expensive, with the taxpayer expected to pick up the tab. And that would mar Toronto’s recreational jewel even more than the Airport already does.
You’re right – 2033 is fast approaching, and it’s time for a serious discussion on what the best use, in the interests of all Torontonians, of those 215 acres should be.