The three-sided, open-top facility will accommodate commercial aircraft at the airport and is designed to dampen the noise associated with high-power aircraft engine ground run-up operations.
Standing 14m in height, the 63m by 66m enclosure is located on the south-west side of the airfield and is only the second of its kind in Canada.
The addition of the GRE facility represents a key new component in the airport’s Noise Mitigation Program as the acoustically and aerodynamically designed facility, constructed by Blast Deflectors Inc (BDI), will dampen the impact of ground engine run-ups that are mandated by Transport Canada following engine maintenance to ensure safety.
These engine run-ups have been cited by the community as a primary source of noise prompting PortsToronto to commence construction of the facility in fall 2016.
It was constructed at a cost of C$9 million – paid for by PortsToronto and not taxpayers – and will significantly reduce the acoustic impact of engine run-ups on the surrounding community.
The enclosure effectively absorbs noise with specialized acoustic panels that line the interior of the three walls which feature vents for optimal aerodynamic performance.
“Aircraft noise is a complicated issue faced by airports and communities, one that must be managed while ensuring that aviation safety remains paramount," admitted Garneu.
"As our cities grow and airports become a part of our neighborhoods, it’s important that we work together to ensure a balance between the important economic role that airports play, with the well-being of our communities.
"This project at Billy Bishop Airport is a great example of the federal government working closely with the municipal government and the airport authority to achieve this balance while making a positive difference to the neighbourhood."
Geoffrey Wilson, CEO, PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Airport, noted: “Operating an airport that is part of a thriving, mixed-use urban waterfront requires the right balance to ensure that operations keep pace with the surrounding community and that measures are in place to mitigate the impacts associated with running a successful airport.
“From the creation of new infrastructure, to working together with the community and our airport partners on the implementation of policies, the noise mitigation program at Billy Bishop Airport is an essential component of airport operations.
"We are thrilled to officially open the Ground Run-up Enclosure at Billy Bishop Airport which further demonstrates our commitment to minimizing the impact of our airport’s noise on the surrounding community and raises the bar even higher on our innovative, award-winning noise mitigation program.”
The GRE’s completion marks another major milestone in the Billy Bishop Airport Airfield Project, a three-year rehabilitation initiative currently underway at Billy Bishop Airport to modernise the airport and ensure it continues to serve as an economic engine for the city and provide efficient service to the 2.7 million passengers who travel through the airport each year.