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NEWS Last modified on September 5, 2013

Porter pitches second option for Toronto runway extension

Porter Airlines' campaign to fly jet services at Toronto Island is continuing with an alternative runway extension proposal.

Toronto-based Porter Airlines has now given the City of Toronto two options for enlarging the runway at Billy Bishop Airport (YTZ) so it can operate jets.

Porter, which currently flies turboprops on its regional routes, has placed a provisional order for 30 CS100s, with a goal of flying to Vancouver, Los Angeles and the Caribbean.

But the fleet upgrade must overcome a ban on commercial jets at Bishop Airport.

In May, Toronto’s city council voted to exempt CS100s and to examine a proposal to extend the airport’s runway by 168 metres at each end into Lake Ontario.

On September 3, the carrier submitted an alternative – stretching the runway into the water at each end by 200 metres.

In response to alarm from resident groups, Porter has since clarified that it is not simply seeking to encroach further into the lake.

"We want to be clear that we have now presented two runway designs for the city to review as part of its process," said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines.

But Porter claims the new proposal offers benefits such as less noise, as planes would use less power to take off at a longer runway.

The second option would also provide a breakwater for wave protection, according to Porter.

In either case, the carrier must still convince the Toronto Port Authority as well as Canada’s federal government to scrap the jet ban.

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