The headline of a story in the Aug. 6, 1970 edition of the Globe and Mail was worrying — no problem referring to the competition, the Sun wouldn’t start publishing for more than year.
It read “Island Airport faces deficit of $200,000; airfield may be closed.”
So was that it?
After spending years trying to get it built would the Toronto Island Airport be bulldozed after only 31 years in business. Those were desperate times.
But Robert Wong, general manager of the Island Airport’s Central Airways, which operated a training and charter service using 28 aircraft, had a suggestion. If the authorities would do something to make getting to the airport easier — the airport was only a five or ten minutes from the business heart of the city — and replace the old cross-channel ferry with a drawbridge, passenger traffic would soon increase to the point where the airport would be making money rather than losing it on the airfield’s operation.
Fast forward a mere 45 years and rather than a drawbridge a pedestrian tunnel connecting the mainland with the Island airport opened.
And business has never been better.
In celebration of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s 80th anniversary the public is invited to visit the airport and view the wonderful collection of historic photographs showing many of the events that have occurred at “YTZ” over the past eight decades.
There is no charge to access the airport via the tunnel or the Marilyn Bell ferry.
Under a new “passenger bill of rights,” airlines will be able to leave passengers stuck on the tarmac for longer than the current standard.
MONTREAL ― Canadian airports and airlines are some of the worst performers worldwide when it comes to flight delays, and new federal rules that allow passengers to be stuck on the tarmac for longer could make things worse.
All but one of Canada’s major airlines rank in the bottom half for on-time performance in a new survey from travel data provider OAG.
Canada’s best performer, WestJet, ranks 57th out of 125 airlines surveyed, with 77.1 per cent of all flights arriving on time. The country’s worst performer, Sunwing, ranks as the second-worst airline in the world, 124th out of 125, with only 57.8 per cent of flights on time.
Sunwing experienced numerous flight glitches in recent years, including major delays in Toronto and Montreal in April, 2018, that led to a fine from the Canadian Transportation Agency.
Looking at airports, Canada doesn’t fare much better. Our best airport, in Grande Prairie, Alta., ranks 108th out of 505 airports surveyed.
Toronto’s two commercial passenger airports, Pearson and Billy Bishop, rank as the two worst airports in Canada and among the worst in the world ― 475th and 489th, respectively.
Interestingly, there is a yawning east-west divide, with western Canadian airports performing better than others.
The survey comes as Canada is about to launch a new “passengers’ bill of rights” that some critics say will make it easier for airlines to delay flights.
Under the new regulations, airlines will be able to keep passengers stuck on the tarmac for up to three hours, plus an additional 45 minutes if the airline believes takeoff is imminent.
Currently, Canada has no government-enforced limits on tarmac delays, but airlines themselves had standards built into their tariffs. The industry standard was 90 minutes, which is also what a Senate committee recommended be the rule in the new passenger bill of rights. The government rejected that recommendation.
Additionally, it will be very difficult to get compensation from airlines in most cases where flights are delayed or passengers are denied boarding, said Gabor Lukacs, a prominent consumer advocate who has challenged airline practices in courts.
Watch: Here are the budget airlines in Canada. Story continues below.
Lukacs said he worries about the possibility of longer delays under the new rules because “when something becomes legal, they will do it. On the other hand, the counterargument is it’s in the airline’s best interest to get passengers to their destination as quickly as possible.”
Lukacs’ advocacy group, Air Passenger Rights, has accused the government of letting the airline industry dictate the new passengers’ bill of rights.
A spokesperson for Transport Minister Marc Garneau said the tarmac delay rule was decided “based on operational realities and international best practices. For example, in the United States, air carriers are required to offer the option to disembark after a three hour delay on domestic flights, and a four hour delay on international flights.”
While airlines frequently blame weather for flight delays, data from the U.S. federal government shows that extreme weather events are responsible for fewer than 5 per cent of flight delays in the U.S. The most common reason for delays was late-arriving aircraft, meaning flights delayed because earlier flights were delayed. This accounted for nearly 42 per cent of U.S. delays. Canada does not currently keep track of this type of data.
But Lukacs points out that Canada has much harsher weather than most of the U.S., so it may not be a fair comparison. And Toronto’s worst-in-the-country Billy Bishop Airport has unique issues to deal with because it’s on an island.
“This may be an apples to oranges comparison,” he told HuffPost Canada by phone.
Nonetheless, Canada’s poor weather doesn’t explain why Alaska Airlines has a higher on-time percentage than any Canadian airline (80.7 per cent) and is the third best among U.S. airlines.
Lukacs argues these on-time rankings are incomplete: There isn’t enough data to determine, for instance, whether it’s a particular airport or a particular airline that’s behind delays in a given place.
Either way, airlines should be taking bad weather into account when planning their schedules, Lukacs said.
“If airlines and airports ignore the weather realities, then you have guaranteed, built-in failure,” he said.
TORONTO, June 27, 2019 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines celebrated its first flight to Ontario’s ‘cottage country’ today with its inaugural flight to Muskoka, one of the world’s iconic summer retreats. Passengers enjoyed non-stop service from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Muskoka Airport, and were met by local officials and residents on arrival.
“Porter has received strong interest in its seasonal Muskoka flights since we announced service in the spring,” said Robert Deluce, executive chairman of Porter Airlines. “Travellers value convenience and we are dedicated to making Muskoka more accessible, whether you’re taking the short flight from Toronto or connecting from one of our other destinations.”
With the introduction of Porter’s seasonal Muskoka flights, people looking to relax in a tranquil wilderness setting, can do so with a flight time of approximately 20 minutes. Operating twice weekly on Thursdays and Mondays, service continues until September 3.
“This new summer service between Toronto and Muskoka gives visitors easy access to some of the most incredible natural and cultural treasures Ontario has to offer,” said Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport. “This is the kind of initiative that really helps grow Ontario’s economy and our tourism sector.”
Situated among pristine waters, and surrounded by scenic shorelines and vast forests, Muskoka is one of Ontario’s most sought-after vacation spots. In addition to stunning vistas, visitors can enjoy the region’s heritage communities and vibrant towns, offering excellent shopping, one-of-a-kind entertainment, events and an abundance of recreational activities. Muskoka’s charm and beauty offers a unique experience for families, groups, and couples looking to create long-lasting memories.
“The District and the Muskoka Airport Board are very excited for the arrival of scheduled service from Porter – making it easier for visitors and our residents to get to and from Muskoka and beyond this summer,” remarked District of Muskoka Chair John Klinck. “We look forward to working with our partners at Porter and RTO 12 to make this new service an experience as unforgettable as Muskoka is.”
Explorers’ Edge, the regional tourism organization, also launched its seasonal shuttle bus service, providing Porter passengers transportation from Muskoka Airport to accommodations across the region. The organization is also offering a traveller incentive of $100 in spending vouchers for those booking a flight and accommodation.
“Explorers’ Edge is excited to have partnered with Porter Airlines to introduce seasonal service to the Muskoka Airport,” said James Murphy, executive director of the regional tourism organization. “Muskoka and Algonquin Park are among the nation’s most popular vacation destinations, and this service will allow domestic and international tourists to have much easier access to a spectacular holiday here. We are very pleased to welcome the world via Porter’s extensive network.”
Flights are currently available for booking on Porter’s website and through travel agents. For complete schedule and booking details, visit www.flyporter.com.
TORONTO, June 18, 2019 /CNW/ – Last night at the 2019 Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) Awards of Excellence Gala held in Edmonton, Alberta, PortsToronto was announced as the recipient of a Gold National Award of Excellence for the 2018 PortsToronto Sustainability Report in the Best Annual Report category.
The CPRS National Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding achievement in a comprehensive public relations and communications project or program, with judging executed by expert panels of leading public relations and communications management practitioners from across the country. The awards were established in 1962 and are considered one of Canada’s most prestigious public relations honours.
Building on the strong foundation set out in PortsToronto’s inaugural Sustainability Report, and on a longstanding legacy of environmental stewardship, social responsibility and collaboration with stakeholders to manage Toronto’swaterfront, the 2018 PortsToronto Sustainability Report generates awareness amongst the organization’s community, business and government stakeholders regarding PortsToronto’s sustainable initiatives, accomplishments and future targets.
“In awarding this top honour, the Canadian Public Relations Society has recognized PortsToronto’s commitment and enthusiasm for sharing the story of our organization’s achievements through our annual Sustainability Report,” said Deborah Wilson, Vice-President, Communications and Public Affairs, PortsToronto. “Pairing the strategic leadership of our Sustainability Committee with the creativity and skill of our communications team – which carried out the writing, photography and design of the report in-house – speaks volumes about PortsToronto’s leadership in the field of sustainability, and we are particularly proud to receive recognition from the best in the industry for our organization’s hard work and dedication.”
PortsToronto’s annual Sustainability Report is based on an extensive internal review, expert analysis from Delphi Group, a pioneer in sustainability and environmental risk management, third-party research and feedback from our community and government stakeholders. A full audit of PortsToronto’s sustainable practices was conducted in order to produce the Sustainability Report.
This is the second time PortsToronto’s Sustainability Report has received a National Award of Excellence. The 2016 PortsToronto Sustainability Report was recognized by CPRS in the Best External Publication category.
About the CPRS Awards of Excellence The CPRS National Awards of Excellence recognize outstanding achievement in a comprehensive public relations and communications project or program, with judging executed by expert panels of leading public relations and communications management practitioners from across the country. The awards were established in 1962 and are considered one of Canada’s most prestigious public relations honours.
About CPRS Founded in 1948, the Canadian Public Relations Society (CPRS) is a not-for-profit association of professionals dedicated to the practice, management and teaching of public relations and communications. Comprising 14 local societies, CPRS’ mission is to build a national public relations and communications management community through professional development and accreditation, collaboration with thought leaders, a commitment to ethics and a code of professional standards, advocacy for the profession, and support to members at every stage of their careers. For more information, visit https://www.cprs.ca/.
About PortsToronto For more than 100 years PortsToronto 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. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed 2.8 million passengers in 2018; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’slargest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $11 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government. For more information, visit https://www.portstoronto.com.
TORONTO, May 16, 2019 /CNW/ – PortsToronto today released its 2018 Audited Financial Statements, marking the organization’s eleventh consecutive year of profitability. All of PortsToronto’s core business operations – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, the Port of Toronto, the Outer Harbour Marina, and Property and Other (real estate) – were profitable in 2018, generating $60.0 million in overall revenue with net income of $3.5 million.
Billy Bishop Airport had another strong year in 2018 serving 2,807,208 passengers and generating revenue of $43.7 million, which included $17.6 million in revenue from Airport Improvement Fees (AIF). Although passenger numbers were up in 2018, AIF was down as a result of PortsToronto’s decision to decrease the AIF charged to passengers from $20to $15, put into effect on April 1, 2018. In 2018, there was $13.3 million spent on AIF-related initiatives and expenses.
The Port of Toronto experienced another record year facilitating the delivery of approximately 2.2 million metric tonnes of cargo into the heart of the city. The Port and its activities reported operating income from all sources of $3.6 million, up from $1.1 million the year prior due to higher cargo handling, storage and property revenues that resulted in an increase in net income.
The Outer Harbour Marina’s operating income increased to $1.9 million on revenues of $4.5 million. Property and Other reported operating income of $0.2 million on revenues of $0.4 million, down from 2017 due to the sale of 60 Harbour Street and 30 Bay Street Properties in that year. Investment income was $2.3 million, up from $0.62 million the year prior.
“The year 2018 was another strong one for all of our businesses financially and operationally as we completed major projects such as the significant $35-million rehabilitation program to modernize the airfield infrastructure at Billy Bishop Airport and optimized our Marine Terminal operations by entering into new lease agreements, while still achieving another record-year in shipping with the movement of 2.2 million metric tonnes of cargo.” said Geoffrey Wilson, Chief Executive Officer, PortsToronto. “As a financially self-sufficient organization, we are incredibly proud of our financial record as our continued profitability enables PortsToronto to make meaningful investments that serve the city of Toronto, fuel the economy, and keep people and goods moving.”
Since 2009, PortsToronto has invested more than $11 million into community organizations and environmental initiatives including the removal of millions of pounds of debris from Toronto’s Harbour to aid in the prevention of flooding and the creation of natural habitats to increase biodiversity at the Leslie Street Spit. In addition, PortsToronto continued to invest in measures that minimize the environmental impact of its businesses, such as renewing its agreement with Bullfrog Power Canada to power all of its operations with 100 per cent green electricity – the only airport and port in Canada to do so. These efforts in sustainability, among various others, are detailed in PortsToronto’s 2018 Sustainability Report.
Beyond PortsToronto’s community and infrastructure investments, PortsToronto contributed approximately $3.3 millionin Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILTs) to the City of Toronto in 2018, as well as paying $2.6 million toward realty taxes and $3.0 million to the federal government for the Gross Revenue Charge. This resulted in a total contribution of slightly under $9 million that can be used to benefit taxpayers in Toronto and across the country.
PortsToronto will hold its Annual General Meeting at the Harbour Castle Westin Conference Centre at Bay and Queens Quay on Friday, June 21, 2019, at 9:30 a.m. in the West Ballroom.
Highest percentage of non-automobile access of any airport in North America
52% increase in alternatives to personal vehicles in past 5 years
29% of passengers depart Billy Bishop Airport using free shuttle
TORONTO, April 26, 2019 /CNW/ – According to a new research study conducted by Dillon Consulting, 41 per cent of travellers walk, bike, use public transit or take the complimentary airport shuttle from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, representing one of the highest overall percentages of non-automobile use at any airport in North America. Further, the 2018 survey data shows a 52 per cent increase in non-automobile usage at the airport over the last five years, compared with the 27 per cent of non-automobile usage recorded at the airport in 2013.
Many of the airport’s 2.8 million passengers choose Billy Bishop Airport for its convenient, walkable location to/from downtown Toronto, as well as for its interconnectivity to regional transit. In fact, the Dillon Report indicates that 29 per cent of passengers depart Billy Bishop Airport via the complimentary airport shuttle to access Toronto’s Union Station, which highlights the important role the airport plays in not only connecting people to the heart of downtown Torontobut in providing convenient access to the region’s broader transportation network. The survey also indicates that only 2 per cent of passengers drive and park at the airport.
The study also shows that the Billy Bishop Airport pedestrian tunnel continues to have a positive impact on dispersing passenger and vehicle traffic flow at the airport. The tunnel, which connects passengers to the airport from the mainland pavilion, not only provides convenient and efficient access to the airport but plays a vital role in significantly reducing surges in traffic demand at the mainland terminal and along Eireann Quay that were evident prior to the tunnel opening in 2015.
“By investing in major city-building infrastructure such as the award-winning pedestrian tunnel, and fostering an ideal environment for ‘green’ airport access with conveniently-located bike stations, complimentary shuttle service to and from Union Station and collaborating with the City of Toronto to further improve access to Eireann Quay, PortsToronto continues to implement innovative measures to both reduce emissions and ease vehicle traffic around the airport,” said Gene Cabral, Executive Vice President, Billy Bishop Airport. “We are proud to see so many of our passengers opting to walk, bike and use other environmentally-friendly modes of transportation to and from Billy Bishop Airport. The positive results in this study not only demonstrate our continued commitment to easing congestion, operating sustainably and encouraging cleaner alternative means to and from the airport but speak to the important role Billy Bishop Airport plays in connecting people to the region’s broader transit network.”
The study conducted by Dillon Consulting was undertaken in June 2018 during airport peak hours and focussed on conditions related to traffic volumes, modal splits and taxi occupancy levels for travel to and from the airport. Further, the data gathered in this report will assist PortsToronto in the measurement of future conditions and continuous improvement related to traffic volumes.
Currently, a new reconfigured approach to passenger and vehicle traffic operations is in place as part of a pilot project that began in December 2018. In 2019, the impact and efficacy of the reconfiguration will be evaluated to assess improvements to traffic flow in the vicinity of Eireann Quay and potential full-time adoption of the program.
TORONTO, April 25, 2019 /CNW/ – Porter Airlines flights to Mont Tremblant, Que., are back in time for summer fun. Seasonal service begins June 21, and runs until September 22, 2019. Flights operate up to four times weekly starting July 28 through Labour Day, and two times weekly for the remainder of the season.
Passengers fly non-stop from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Mont Tremblant International Airport in just 70 minutes. For complete schedule and booking details, visit www.flyporter.com or contact your travel agent.
The picturesque village transforms during the summer months. Full of green spaces and boasting 400 lakes and streams, Mont Tremblant offers an abundance of outdoor scenery. Travellers can enjoy a variety of outdoor adventures, including hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, golfing and water activities. There’s also a range of entertainment and events, including the Mont Tremblant International Blues Festival (July 5-14), Wanderlust (Aug. 22-25), and Iron Man (Aug. 18).
Connecting flights from several Porter destinations in Canada and the U.S. are also available.