Asked at Public Meeting #2. Additional Q&A's to be prepared in the coming weeks.
Q. At Public Meeting #2 for the Airport Master Plan, questions were asked related to the draft development concepts related to the 20 year planning horizon. In particular, questions were asked about the potential increase of general aviation (GA) planes that could be based at Billy Bishop Airport. How much growth could the airport see related to general aviation aircraft?
A. We have communicated in the past that we have 45 GA aircraft that operate out of Billy Bishop Airport and there is the potential to increase available parking for more GA aircraft. Based on a 20 year master planning time horizon, the growth in GA aircraft could increase to between 50 and 100 aircraft, however the market will dictate the need. However any increase would also be subject to criteria pertaining to whether a business case could be made for increasing aircraft, ensuring an effective balance of operations within the airport and looking at the impact on the surrounding community. Most important, adding 50 GA based aircraft at Billy Bishop Airport will not dramatically increase the number of flights, as GA pilots are not taking off multiple times a day, but rather fly two to four times per week.
Q. In the development concepts topic room at Public Meeting #2 for the Airport Master Plan, a question was asked about what the likelihood of there not being an increase in general aviation aircraft based at Billy Bishop Airport?
A. An increase of general aviation aircraft based at the airport has not been confirmed, as studies will need to be undertaken to understand the market interest, prepare a business case to determine the viability, and understand how to balance the airport operations with waterfront uses. It is possible that GA aircraft will not increase at all, however during recent consultations on the Airport Master Plan, stakeholders communicated that there is an interest for more general aviation community at the airport. Whether or not this interest will translate into more GA activity is currently not known pending more study in this area. However, given that the Master Plan is intended to report on future operations and opportunities, PortsToronto wanted to introduce the possibility that GA activity could increase in the future. .
Q. With regard to the potential increase of general aviation aircraft activity at the airport, what studies will PortsToronto undertake to analyze the increase in sound, based on the significant increase in private planes?
A. During the consultation and engagement process for the Airport Master Plan, PortsToronto and its consultants have communicated that the Airport Master Plan has a 20 year planning horizon that will look at development challenges and opportunities based on a managed growth strategy. Studies on the emissions from the airport, including air quality and noise, will be conducted over the 20 year planning horizon based on individual projects that are being planned to ensure impacts can be mitigated, properly managed and remain within a reasonable threshold. Similar to any municipal master plan for infrastructure development within a city, the vision and planning horizon is typically 20 years so that each individual infrastructure project can be assessed according to the impacts and mitigation measures that will be included in the preparation of a technical reports.
Q. Do general aviation aircraft use diesel gas? If so won't this have a significantly negative impact on the waterfront?
A. No, general aviation aircraft do no use diesel gas. General aviation aircraft are piston powered and use aviation gas (also called AvGas) similar to fuel in cars, with a low lead content. Aviation gas is the only aviation fuel approved in Canada for use by piston powered aircraft. Aircraft fuel is transported and managed based on regulatory requirements set by Transport Canada, and the airport, tenants and pilots ensure fuel is managed to ensure no negative impact to the surrounding environment.
Q. Will the Airport Master Plan include an implementation table, and options into the future?
A. Similar to the 2012 Airport Master Plan, it will propose operational enhancements and work required based on a number of factors including regulatory changes and infrastructure priorities.
Q. Will the Airport Master Plan consider development of a runway extension to allow jets?
A. No the Airport Master Plan will not be considering any development to extend the runway to allow for jet aircraft.
Q. The Tripartite Agreement between Transport Canada, the City of Toronto and PortsToronto ends in 2033. Why does this Airport Master Plan go beyond 2033?
A. PortsToronto is undertaking the Airport Master Plan based on a 20-year time horizon, as this is in keeping with a typical planning horizon for Airport Master Plans and infrastructure projects. This planning timeline therefore extends past the year 2033 in order to properly assess the airport infrastructure should the Tripartite Agreement be extended in the future. Any extension beyond 2033 will be negotiated between the three signatories, Transport Canada, the City of Toronto and PortsToronto
Q. What technical work will be undertaken as part of the Airport Master Plan?
A. As part of an Airport Master Plan, technical work that is typically undertaken would include a demand/capacity assessment and requirements that include:
As a result of early consultation and engagement, additional technical studies will be undertaken to asses:
The findings from these studies could provide data that will be utilized in preparation of draft and final Airport Master Plan.
Q. Would PortsToronto consider a managed growth strategy with no growth?
A. PortsToronto has a fiduciary responsibility to run the airport under the Tripartite Agreement’s conditions and terms. We also support many activities and initiatives happening along the waterfront. We are interested in protecting the balance that exists there. There are many users of the airport and we do not know what the anticipated numbers for growth at the airport may or may not be at this stage, as this is what will come out of the Airport Master Plan work. However, PortsToronto has made a commitment to ensure balance between our operations and the surrounding community and all growth is contemplated within the framework of managed growth to ensure growth is in keeping with what the existing infrastructure, access and community can effectively handle.
Q. In the mid-2000’s the airport had 22,000 passengers annually, which has grown to 2.8 million. The transportation network and parking is being taken over by the airport and does not reflect a managed growth strategy. What is the airport doing to manage this ongoing issue?
A. Our current Airport Master Plan from 2012 identified passenger growth to 3.6 million. We have and will continue to make operational improvements to mitigate impacts to the community and work closely with the City of Toronto as evidenced by the work being undertaken as part of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan related to improved public spaces, shared facilities and traffic management. The introduction of the pedestrian tunnel in 2015 has also had a significant impact on reducing traffic and congestion in the area as passengers no longer arrive and depart in waves according to the ferry schedule. More than 90% of passengers take the pedestrian tunnel. A study by Dillon consulting estimated that vehicle traffic in the area has decreased by as much as 75% since the tunnel opened.
In addition, through ongoing traffic studies, 40 percent of passengers are walking, biking, taking TTC or the shuttle bus from the airport. As well, based on the ongoing experience and success from implementation of the barging operation for equipment and material used in the Airfield Rehabilitation Program work in 2016, 2017 and 2018, we are continuously looking at opportunities to remove large vehicles from accessing the airport through the community whether for airport deliveries, City of Toronto service vehicles or construction vehicles to the island.
Q. Who looks at forecasted growth and models this work?
A. WSP is the Canada-based consultancy who prepared the 2012 Airport Master Plan and is doing the analysis to forecast growth based on a number of scenarios. WSP specializes in airport master planning in Canada as well as worldwide.
Q. Many members of the local community have serious concerns with the air and noise emissions that the airport contributes to the air shed. For example, last summer was the worst from a noise perspective for nearby airport residents.
A. In 2013, the City of Toronto and Toronto Public Health commissioned a study by Golder Associates, to study the noise and air emissions from the airport’s operation. The report concluded that the airport contributed between 10-15 per cent to the local air shed, with the largest contributor being vehicle emissions from the Gardiner Expressway. We understand that last summer the noise impacts from idling aircraft waiting for gates during the terminal upgrade construction work was unusually high. We are continuously working with the airlines and the terminal owner to put into place operational policies to ensure noise impacts this summer will be better managed, including ceasing all construction on gates over the busy summer months to ensure all gates are available during the summer period, which will reduce holds and idling impacts. Also, noise complaints due to high power engine run-ups have been significantly reduced since the Ground Run Up Enclosure came into operation in April 2017. This Master Plan will also look at what other operational or infrastructure options are available for noise management. PortsToronto is also looking into options for reduction of emissions from its operations, including emissions from ferry operations.
Q. The noise and air emissions report that Golder prepared in 2013 is 5 years out of date and does not reflect the growth that the airport has seen over this time. Is PortsToronto conducting a new noise and air emissions report as part of the Airport Master Plan work?
A. Over the past 5 years, the airport has seen modest growth of between 2 to 3 per cent each year from 2.3 to 2.8 million passengers. We have been working with Toronto Public Health and the City of Toronto on how to share the facts related to the airports operations as part of the Airport Master Plan work to inform any work they are doing in this area.
Q. Will the Airport Master Plan look at climate change and carbon reductions to promote sustainable practices?
A. The Airport Master Plan will take into consideration commitments towards carbon emission reductions. PortsToronto has issued three sustainability reports where we have been tracking emissions and seeking opportunities to reduce carbon emissions in all of our operations. This includes single-engine taxiing of commercial airplanes, electric vehicle usage, and hybrid vehicles. As well, we are working with government agencies to seek opportunities for initiatives that may be available. Please review our 2017 Sustainability Report for more detail on the efforts underway to reduce our operational impact on the environment and the tracking we have done to date.
Q. Does PortsToronto know when Transport Canada will be providing an update on timelines for the Runway End Safety Area (RESA) regulations?
A. All Canadian airports are currently waiting for Transport Canada to communicate when the RESA regulations will come into effect. There will be a dedicated breakout session at the June 25 Public Meeting on the topic of RESA and the information currently available.
Q. Based on information shared about the Southern Ontario Airports Network (SOAN), there are many of us that are surprised by the growth in air travel into the future. With people being more sustainable, telecommuting being more popular and behaviours changing, is this data correct?
A. The SOAN team is being lead by the Greater Toronto Airports Authority, who hired McKinsey & Company to conduct this analysis. McKinsey’s analysis concluded that air transport is on the rise and that by 2043 passenger and cargo tonnage will double from 2016 data. Statistics are showing that millennials are travelling more than any other generation and more frequently. The report is available at this link: https://www.soairportnetwork.com/
Q. As a local community member, I am concerned about my children and I living near the airport from a safety and security perspective. What steps have you taken to address some of the concerns that have been raised over the past several years?
A. We take safety and security very seriously at our airport, when it comes to all aspects including fuel delivery to emergency preparedness. We have modernized our fire trucks and have grown our staff from six to eighteen firefighters stationed at our fire hall, which is well above the regulatory requirements. We will be procuring the newest technology aircraft rescue and fire fighting (ARFF) vehicle in 2019 as well. We test our systems and have the ability to respond to emergency situations. We have done simulations every year, as well as tabletop exercises with all our partners including Toronto Fire, Toronto Police and Toronto Emergency Services. We are mandated to do safety exercises every two years, however we do them every year to make sure the safety requirements are in place. From a security perspective, we have gone above the standard requirements and have installed a perimeter intrusion detection system on the airport property. We are working with the City of Toronto to look at other opportunities to move truck traffic that would typically use the airport ferry for deliveries to the island, out of the community. For more information on our emergency preparedness please go to this link: http://www.portstoronto.com/airport/business-information/emergency-preparedness.aspx
Q. You have indicated that the 2012 Airport Master Plan identified the airport can grow to 3.6 million passengers. With airport growth concerns front and centre in the community, how can Eireann Quay handle an additional 1 million passengers and how will this impact the community?
A. PortsToronto is working with the City of Toronto through the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan and the Waterfront Transit Reset Project to ensure transportation planning is proactively planning for passenger growth. With the development proposals and constructions projects in the area along Lakeshore Road, planning now is key and needs to include all agencies. The airport team looks at opportunities to review and put measures in place to mitigate impacts, including shuttle bus operations, offering additional bike share and rack parking for passengers, staff and the community.
Importantly, not all passenger traffic goes through the community, as approximately 25 per cent of passengers are connecting through Billy Bishop Airport to other destinations which are their final destination. We are also working with the Toronto District School Board and the Waterfront School as they are in the process of finalizing their playground Master Plan. By planning into the future with all the key stakeholders, we can mitigate and plan to minimize impacts to the community.
Q. What are the next steps and timing for the Airport Master Plan process?
A. The development of the Airport Master Plan is a four-phase process, which will include three public meetings to gather input from the community at key project milestones. The master planning process will take approximately one year to complete, with the finalization of the Airport Master Plan slated for early 2019. Consultation and engagement will continue throughout the process.
Q. What is an Airport Master Plan?
A. An Airport Master Plan is a comprehensive study providing a long-range vision for the airport, which in turn assists airport management and other stakeholders in making informed decisions regarding future development. An Airport Master Plan is not a regulatory document, but rather a planning tool that identifies opportunities and constraints, sets out objectives and recommendations, and provides a strategic vision for the Airport that can be endorsed by the community, regulatory authorities, airport stakeholders and operators.
Q. How often are Airport Master Plans prepared?
A. Airport Master Plans are typically prepared every 10 years, with updates prepared every 5 years.
Q. What is the planning horizon of an Airport Master Plan?
A. The typical planning horizon for an Airport Master Plan is 20 years.
Q. What is the proposed timeframe for the Billy Bishop Airport Master Plan?
A. The planning process will begin in early 2018 and be completed in early 2019.
Q. How can I get involved?
A. The Airport Master Plan includes a stakeholder / public consultation process that includes public meetings at strategic milestones during the planning process. The first public meeting is scheduled for early 2018. In addition, you can follow the Master Plan updates on the website and provide your comments.