According to four key business organizations, the Porter Airlines proposal to serve longer-range destinations from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA) will be a boost to the economy, creating jobs, increasing visitor spending, and helping Toronto attract new business in a competitive global economy.
The Toronto Financial Services Alliance, Toronto Financial District BIA, Entertainment District BIA and the Ontario Chamber of Commerce have made official submissions to the City of Toronto expressing support for Porter’s proposal to operate the Bombardier CS100 jet at Billy Bishop Airport. City council approval of the plan would allow Porter to connect downtown Toronto with destinations such as Vancouver, San Francisco, Calgary and Miami, beginning in 2016.
“Expanding its annual passenger traffic from 26,000 to 2.3 million since 2006 has highlighted BBTCA as a significant asset and economic generator for City of Toronto residents, including the 200,000 people who work in the Financial District each day,” said Grant Humes, executive director of the Toronto Financial District BIA. “Toronto competes on a global scale with other financial centres and the direct access BBTCA provides to other cities across North America is an important benefit when attracting and retaining business.”
Janice Solomon, executive director of the Entertainment District BIA, said that the downtown commercial jet service would attract more travellers and create new jobs. “This is of vital important to our members, many of whom are restaurant and hospitality businesses that rely on robust tourist numbers.”
Porter announced its plans to purchase Bombardier CS100 aircraft last April. The new jets would allow the airline to add medium-range routes (Vancouver, Florida, Edmonton, etc.) to its roster. They also require the expansion of the airport’s existing runways. Local residents’ groups are opposing the expansion plans, citing concerns about noise and environmental impacts.