TPA announces capacity assessment results for Billy Bishop Toronto City
Airport, begins accepting formal carrier proposals

Third-party, IATA-accredited slot coordinator will be appointed in early 2010 to manage carrier demand and slot allocation process

TORONTO, Dec. 24 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority ("TPA") today confirmed that it has received a preliminary executive summary outlining the results of an updated noise impact study and capacity assessment for the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport ("BBTCA"). The findings of the third-party study will now be refined to determine the number of daily commercial flights and equipment mix that can be accommodated at the airport during the coming years.

The comprehensive analysis evaluated all key factors impacting airport operations, including:

    
    -   the 1983 Tripartite Agreement
    -   noise guidelines
    -   hours of operation at the BBTCA and the impact of early morning and
        late evening flights on the neighbouring community
    -   terminal, runway and passenger ferry infrastructure limitations
    -   the availability of parking and transportation options to and from
        Eireann Quay
    -   mix and types of commercial, private and leisure aircraft
    -   helicopter and MEDEVAC flights
    

"The Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an attractive facility for passengers and carriers alike," said Mark McQueen, Chairman of the TPA Board of Directors. "But it has both a modest physical footprint and is governed by the Tripartite Agreement, which serves to cap the number of daily commercial flights that can operate from the BBTCA. Based upon the informal requests we've received from commercial carriers, demand for new slots far exceeds the supply available. This 'slot controlled' situation is no different than other North American airports, such as Pearson, Vancouver, Newark Liberty, JFK, LaGuardia, or Washington Reagan. All major airlines recognize that an airport can only award the slots that exist, even if that won't satisfy every carrier request - a circumstance that exists at most slot-controlled airports."

The third-party study considered current BBTCA usage by leisure aircrafts and helicopters, in addition to the approximate 2,500 life-saving MEDEVAC service operations per annum. The study also considered that existing BBTCA commercial carrier operations will utilize approximately 120 slots in the period leading up to April 2010, some of which are designated as "Night Operations." Night Operations are defined as services operating between 6:45 - 7 a.m. and 10 - 11 p.m. Under the existing Tripartite Agreement, the BBTCA is closed to all non-emergency flights between 11 p.m. and 6:45 a.m.

"Now that we have the results in hand, the Toronto Port Authority will initiate the next phase of the process," said Geoff Wilson, President and CEO of the TPA. "We will solicit formal business proposals for additional BBTCA airline service, while ensuring that the process continues to remain open and transparent."

The next phase of the process will also see the TPA appoint an independent, IATA-accredited slot coordinator to manage commercial carrier demand at the BBTCA and allocate available slots. The co-ordinator will act as a neutral party during commercial carrier negotiations and be responsible for awarding slots based on internationally recognized processes.

Based on the initial results of the study, the TPA anticipates that once phase two of the new BBTCA terminal is fully completed in the second half of 2010, between 42 and 92 additional commercial slots will be available for award by the IATA-accredited slot coordinator for utilization by incumbent and new commercial carriers under a number of variables and scenarios. Further refinement to usage patterns by existing BBTCA stakeholders is currently underway to determine the precise number of slots that could be awarded among the incumbent and prospective new carriers. The TPA expects updated data to be available in January 2010.

"Our objective is to increase and diversify the number of destinations serviced by the airport," added Wilson. "There are many attractive short haul destinations that are still not served by the BBTCA and we are anxious to continue improving choice and convenience for all travellers."

The TPA will announce a process to receive and consider proposals from prospective commercial carriers early in the new year. All proposals will be expected to outline: i) proposed flight destinations; ii) service frequency; iii) proposed equipment; iv) what arrangements will specifically be made to handle a proponent's passengers at the BBTCA, and v) a commercial carrier's long term commitment to BBTCA passengers.

As is customary at many airports, all commercial carriers providing service from the BBTCA will be required to enter into a commercial carrier operating agreement ("CCOA") with the TPA before they can commence flight operations. Commercial carriers must also secure appropriate terminal space from the City Centre Terminal Corp. - BBTCA's terminal operator - which has the exclusive right and contractual obligation to provide all commercial carriers with access to its new facility once the construction project is completed in 2010. To date, the TPA understands that no commercial carriers have responded to the November 9, 2009 public call by City Centre Terminal Corp. soliciting proposals to utilize the new BBTCA terminal.

"I encourage all prospective commercial carriers with a desire to fly into the BBTCA in 2010 to take advantage of the opportunity to utilize the new terminal," said Wilson. "It is unclear how any commercial carrier would expect to be granted slots through this process without a clear plan as to how they intend to manage passenger traffic, security screening and border clearance."

With the rapid increase in monthly traffic and the number of new carriers seeking access to the airport, the BBTCA capacity study also identified the need for the TPA to make further capital expenditures. In January 2009, the TPA Board moved to acquire a new, larger ferry to accommodate the anticipated passenger growth that ultimately came to pass in 2009.

"Despite the difficult recession, Porter's continued passenger growth, combined with new carrier proposals, means that our task of modernizing the BBTCA is not yet complete," continued Mr. McQueen. "Over the near term, we will be looking at what immediate steps we need to take to ensure that passengers continue to enjoy the success that has become the BBTCA."

About the Toronto Port Authority

The Toronto Port Authority was incorporated on June 8, 1999, as a government business enterprise under the Canada Marine Act as the successor to the Toronto Harbour Commissioners. It is a federal public authority providing transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses. The TPA owns and operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Marine Terminals 51 and 52, and the Outer Harbour Marina. The TPA also provides regulatory controls and public works services to enhance the safety and efficiency of marine navigation and aviation in the port and harbour of Toronto.

SOURCE PortsToronto

For further information: For further information: Further information about the TPA is available at www.torontoport.com


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