Island airport ‘plans’ are a problem list for impossible expansion

Brian Iler —

The Toronto Port Authority on Dec. 2 released its new “Master Plan” for the Island Airport. This isn’t so much a “plan” as a list of unsolvable problems. Unlike most airports that have ample space on the edge of an urban environment, the Island Airport is severely constrained by the city around it. We remain mystified as to why the TPA and Porter think they can expand at all.

Here are the problems, set out in the report [our emphasis]:

  • Parking is very limited due to a lack of available land. Originally, twenty-six parking stalls were provided at the foot of Bathurst Street (Eireann Quay) at the Arrivals / Departures Curb. However, these were recently removed in order to accommodate the construction of the pedestrian tunnel. A surface lot, identified as short-term parking, is located off of Stadium Rd and accommodates approximately 190 stalls. This lot has been designed to maximize capacity making manoeuvring difficult when the lot is at or near capacity, which is often.
  • The terminal was designed to support a planning peak hour passenger (PPHP) capacity of 336 in either the domestic or transborder sector. …Given that the existing terminal is designed to accommodate a peak hour demand of approximately 336 passengers, it is likely that areas of the terminal building already exceed demand during peak periods.
  • The area of the combined services building allocated for airport maintenance is comprised of four equipment bays and support areas. This facility is not sufficient to accommodate the full needs of the Airport,
  • Given the tight physical constraints of the Airport, particularly in the vicinity of the terminal building, there is no opportunity to provide a centralized de-icing facility.
  • With the rapid increase in air carrier activity over the past two years and the allocation of all of the 202 slots available for scheduled air carriers, it is very likely that BBTCA has reached its theoretical capacity of 140,703 movements. Even with modest (1-2%) growth in the other general aviation sectors, the TPA may have to implement measures next year to manage aviation activities
  • At a length of approximately 60m, the drop-off/pick-up curb at the ferry terminus is significantly undersized as compared to airports with comparable passenger activity. As comparison, the following is a list of similar Canadian Airports, including the number of annual passengers and the length of their terminal curb-side:
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