Port Authority claims Island airport is a boon

Disputed benefits of the Island airport include a claim of $2 billion in ‘Toronto-area economy’ and claims alleged ‘boondoggle’ tunnel to be a major contributor to area economic health
By Bulletin Staff –
Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Generates Nearly $2 Billion for the Toronto Area Economy

‘Pedestrian Tunnel to Enhance Airport’s Remarkable Success’

TORONTO, Nov. 9, 2012 /CNW/ – Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ) is a major economic engine for the Greater Toronto Area, generating $1.9 billion in annual economic output and 5,700 jobs, which includes 1,700 directly associated with the airport.

According to an economic study conducted by InterVISTAS Consulting Group, a leading management consulting company with extensive expertise in economic and transportation research, Billy Bishop plays a “significant role in providing critical regional and continental transportation linkages to support and grow Toronto’s economy.”

The report was released jointly today by the Toronto Port Authority and the Toronto Board of Trade.

“The airport has experienced continued double-digit passenger growth and serves a large concentration of high-value frequent business and tourism travelers on its routes. It has become an essential facilitator in the growth of trade and tourism for Toronto,” said Geoffrey Wilson, President and CEO of the Toronto Port Authority.  “With the successful launch of Porter Airlines in 2006 and the initiation of Air Canada service in 2011, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has two world class airlines to offer passengers and has grown to become the ninth busiest airport in Canada,” he continued.

“Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is more than a convenient transportation link into and out of the Toronto Region; it is an economic driver vital to ensuring our economy remains globally competitive. Access to a variety of transportation services is important to facilitating economic growth and the airport will play a central role in the development of our region’s growing economic clusters,” said Carol Wilding, President and CEO of the Toronto Board of Trade.

“Toronto is rated globally as a top five city in economic clout, economic potential and infrastructure”, said Councillor Michael Thompson, Chair of the Toronto Economic Development and Culture Committee. “Billy Bishop Airport and its new pedestrian tunnel are integral components of our continued success”, he said.

“Billy Bishop Airport is making a significant contribution to the people of the Greater Toronto Area, not only in terms of jobs and economic impact, but also by making it easier for them to travel for business and pleasure,” said the Hon. Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister Responsible for the Greater Toronto Area. “Our government has supported the airport’s growth and development from the beginning, and I am pleased to see the positive impact it is having.”

The report highlights that ongoing operations at Billy Bishop generate total annual economic impacts of1:

$1.9 billion in economic output;
Approximately 5,700 jobs representing 5,400 person years of employment (1,700 of these jobs are directly associated with YTZ);
$640 million in gross domestic product (GDP);
$290 million in wages, and
Overall tax revenue and Payments-in-Lieu of Taxes of approximately $57 million annually.

The Toronto Port Authority is building a state of the art pedestrian tunnel that, when completed in the spring of 2014, will link the popular Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to the mainland.  This tunnel will be an important, new gateway to the City providing a reliable, efficient and convenient access route for the airport’s two million-plus passengers to Toronto’s downtown airport.

The study included a survey of businesses and organisations located in the GTA. Seventy-four per cent of the businesses and organisations contacted responded – a high response rate for a survey of this type2 – representing nearly 97 per cent of total person years of employment covered by the survey.