Porter’s expansion plan includes extending its Toronto island runway by 168 metres at each end. This would accommodate larger aircraft suited for longer haul flights, thereby broadening Porter’s network, reach and services. The city is required to approve the proposed changes to the island airport and the July deadline for purchasing the jet planes is quickly approaching.
Earlier this week, Toronto Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee passed a motion to commence writing the report, asking Porter to foot the bill, to which the airline consented—if it will get the wheels in motion to elicit the requisite signatures needed to move forward. These would come from members of the tripartite agreement that regulates the island airport: the City of Toronto, the federal Minister of Transportation and the Toronto Port Authority.
The plan has been met with resistance by some city councillors, who felt that Porter is trying to proceed too swiftly, igniting heated disputes at City Hall. Porter has a conditional purchase agreement with aircraft manufacturer Bombardier, which will expire in July. City officials have fewer meetings in the summer months, a reason given by Porter CEO Robert Deluce to speed up the process. City insiders say that July is far too ambitious and that only a preliminary report could be provided, at best. The Globe and Mail cited an opinion poll that indicated 87 per cent of Toronto residents consider the island airport a valuable asset for the city. By extension, that would mean that as the main tenant of the airport, Porter Airlines is, too.
Flight Centre news will keep you updated on any new developments on Porter’s expansion plans and city approval.