More Torontonians than ever consider Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport a "Valuable Asset"

  • 97% of Travellers Rate Experience at BBTCA as Positive
  • Nearly Two-Thirds of Residents South of Queen Street Use BBTCA
  • 9-out-of-10 Torontonians Consider BBTCA a "Valuable Asset to the City"

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TORONTO, Sept. 2, 2014 /CNW/ - A survey released today by the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) reports that 91 per cent of Toronto residents "agree" that "Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a valuable asset to Toronto," up from 87 per cent in August 2013. Thirty-three per cent (33%) of Torontonians report that they have flown to/from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (BBTCA), up one point from last year (32%), with the numbers doubling to 60 per cent when asked of the population south of Queen Street. Of those respondents who have used Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, 97 per cent report having a positive experience indicating factors such as convenience, efficiency and good/friendly service as key satisfaction drivers.

The public opinion survey, conducted via telephone interview by Ipsos Reid from August 8 to 19, 2014, polled a representative, randomly selected sample of 700 adults living in Toronto. Ipsos Reid specifically oversampled those residents who live downtown, south of Queen Street (300 of 700 surveyed). Ipsos Reid has conducted this regular public opinion survey on behalf of the TPA since 2007.

"This year's survey validated the information that we often hear anecdotally from travellers, which is that they love the airport and are using it more frequently because of factors like convenience and service," said Geoffrey Wilson, President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. "It was of interest to learn that nearly two-out-of-three residents south of Queen Street have used the airport. The airport is an important international gateway and a key economic driver of the city and we are very pleased that Torontonians continue to consider the airport to be an asset to the city and are overwhelmingly satisfied with the service they receive there."

Respondents were also polled to gauge opinions on the airport's impact on the City of Toronto. Sixty-seven per cent (67%) of Torontonians are in favour of having an airport on Toronto Island and see it as good for the city, up two points from a year prior. Of those remaining, 19 per cent were neutral to the airport, 5 per cent didn't know, and only 9 per cent were opposed to the airport, down one point from 2013.

Respondents also agreed that the airport is "great for the Toronto economy" (89%) and that the airport is "an important part of the city's future economic growth" (84%). Torontonians also believe that the island airport makes "a great first impression for visitors" (84 per cent) and is a "great gateway for the city and tourists" (87%).

The TPA is currently completing a series of initiatives to inform future discussion on the Porter Proposal to introduce new-technology jets to BBTCA. These initiatives include an Environmental Assessment, a Preliminary Runway Design, an update of the TPA's 2012 Master Plan based on a turbo-prop-only scenario, and a new Master Plan that contemplates the introduction of jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. This work was requested of the TPA as part of Toronto City Council motions passed on April 1, 2014. TPA is also participating in the City of Toronto's Precinct Plan to ensure a coordinated effort in its review of the impact of new residential construction and increased airport activity on area traffic patterns.

For the last two years, in an effort to provide public opinion information on the subject of new-technology jets at BBTCA, the TPA has included questions in its survey to gauge support or opposition. In the August 2014 research, 60 per cent of Torontonians indicated they "support the use of jet aircraft at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport provided they make no more noise than the current turboprops." This number is unchanged from one year earlier. Thirty-seven per cent (37%) reported that they are opposed to jet aircraft at BBTCA and 3 per cent are undecided, also unchanged from a year prior. Respondents south of Queen were evenly split with 48 per cent in support and 50 per cent opposed to jets. The remaining respondents were undecided.

For the survey, a representative randomly-selected sample of adult Canadians living in Toronto was interviewed by telephone, including cell-phone sample dialing. Region, gender and age quotas were implemented to ensure a balanced representation across the city, and an oversample in the downtown area south of Queen Street was also employed. The regional distribution of the sample is as such: Scarborough n =75; Etobicoke n =75; York/East York n =75; North York n =75; Old Toronto North of Queen n = 100; Old Toronto South of Queen (Harbourfront) n = 300. With a sample of this size, the results are considered accurate to within ± 3.7 percentage points, 19 times out of 20, of what they would have been had the entire adult population of Toronto been polled. These data were weighted to ensure that the sample's regional and age/sex composition reflects that of the actual population according to Census data. For full results of the August 2014 Ipsos Reid survey click here.

TORONTO PORT AUTHORITY (www.torontoport.com)
For more than 100 years the Toronto Port Authority has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. The Toronto Port Authority owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomes more than two million passengers each year; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada's largest freshwater marinas; and, Terminals 51 and 52, which provide transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. The Toronto Port Authority is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $5.6 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto's waterfront and beyond. TPA operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government.

SOURCE Toronto Port Authority

For further information: Media Contact: Erin Mikaluk, Senior Manager, Communications & Media Relations, Toronto Port Authority, Tel: (416) 863-2065 or Cell: (647) 298-0544, E-mail: emikaluk@torontoport.com