TORONTO, Dec. 6, 2013 /CNW/ - The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) announced today that it will now join the City of Toronto in its review of Porter Airlines' proposal, with a focus on any and all outstanding issues as outlined in the recently-released City Staff report. The TPA has been involved throughout the earlier review process, working with City staff upon request. At the request of City Council, the TPA has provided $1.2 million to fund all of the fees associated with the City's independent subject matter experts to support this detailed study. The TPA supports the timeline established by the Executive Committee of City Council for a resolution, where possible, of any and all outstanding matters related to the Porter proposal.
The TPA is committed to working with its partners at City Hall regarding the long-term vision of the airport, and recognizes that some questions remain given the complexity of the matters under consideration.
In conjunction with this effort, the TPA has asked its own independent consultants to restart the earlier work associated with the TPA's "master plan" for Billy Bishop Airport Toronto City Airport (Billy Bishop Airport). This "master plan" was initiated by the TPA in 2011 following the announcement of its pedestrian tunnel project, but has not been completed due to the various developments surrounding Billy Bishop Airport in recent months. According to the City Staff Report reviewing Porter's Proposal, the City is interested in receiving the TPA's "vision" for the airport based upon the current terms of the Tripartite Agreement. When the "master plan" is finalized, this draft will be shared with City Staff and is expected to form part of this next phase of their review of the Porter Proposal.
"The TPA will do all it can to assist the City during this next phase, in light of the positive feedback that has been received to the Porter Proposal from the majority of Torontonians as well as the Executive Committee of Council", said Geoff Wilson, President and CEO of the TPA. "The TPA has reviewed the City Staff's report, and will soon provide a detailed response to all of the key matters raised. Work has already begun, in conjunction with City Staff, to meet the key needs of Council as outlined in the recent Staff Report."
According to the City Staff report, Billy Bishop Airport is a valuable asset to the City of Toronto. It will welcome 2.3 million passengers this year, while generating 5,700 jobs and providing $1.9 billion in annual economic output. There is no question that the City's appreciation for Billy Bishop Airport's substantial contribution to the City's economy has grown significantly through this review process. The City staff report can form the basis for an informed, strong and durable collaboration to develop this valuable infrastructure asset for the benefit of today's citizens and future generations - with or without a change of use.
"On behalf of the TPA and our airport passengers, I want to thank Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly for bringing a new energy and focus to this important discussion," added Mark McQueen, Chairman of the TPA. "Whatever the outcome of this next phase, our customers and carriers are grateful for his civic leadership."
About the Toronto Port Authority (www.torontoport.com)
The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the Port of Toronto (Terminals 51 and 52), and Toronto's Outer Harbour Marina. In addition to moving more than two million passengers through the airport in 2012, the Port Authority provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port, and owns and operates Toronto's largest freshwater marina. 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.
SOURCE: Toronto Port Authority
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