Porter Airlines dropped the other shoe today. The CS100 provisional order announcement of April 10 was met with skepticism by the attendant media. As readers will note from our interview with airline Chairman Don Carty, the opposition to the airline’s plans are not exactly hidden.
So it is with interest that the airline provided the following PR.
“Two-thirds of Torontonians support Porter Airlines’ plans to fly Bombardier CS100 aircraft from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. This result is based on an unprecedented public opinion survey of 19,500 people, which is the largest-ever sample size for a publicly-released poll in Toronto.
A summary of the results are as follows:
- When asked, “Do you support allowing jets to fly out of the airport if they make a comparable amount of noise to the turboprops currently being flown from the Island Airport?”, 66.2 per cent supported these plans, 22.3 per cent were opposed and 11.5 per cent undecided or unsure.
- When asked, “Do you support lengthening the runway if the area currently used by boats will not be changed?”, 62.5 per cent supported these plans, 22.3 per cent were opposed and 15.2 per cent undecided or unsure.
- When asked, “Should Toronto City Council allow jets to fly out of the Toronto Island Airport?”, 51.3 per cent supported these plans, 28.7 per cent were opposed and 20.0 per cent undecided or unsure.”
People outside the area may not be aware that elections are coming in 2014. The airport expansion plans are going to be a big item for the parties contesting the election. We foresee the two sides taking, broadly, these approaches. The naysayers will talk about pollution (noise and air). The parties in favor of expansion will be talking about economics (especially Canadian jobs, Toronto jobs and competitive air fares)
It isn’t hard to figure out how WestJet and Air Canada will approach the project either. The election is going to be tough because the tradeoff isn’t easy. Both sides are going to roll out surveys and opinion polls. Expect more news as the story unfolds.