Ian Steer –
Toronto city councilors voted unanimously on April 1 to go a step further in the process of authorizing Porter Airlines to offer whisper jet access to the city’s waterfront air-port.
“Both sides broke out in spontaneous applause at the unanimous vote, never before seen at city hall,” Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly was quoted as saying. “That’s quite a feat for a newly minted deputy mayor.”
Indeed the turnaround in support for whisper jets among councilors is impressive. Porter Airline’s plans for new Bombardier CS100 whisper jest to operate from an upgraded Billy Bishop airport faced some tough opposition as recently as March 25 during public hearing into same issue. Not only a few local residents and a number of NoJets TO lobbyists were opposed. SO too were a number of Toronto’s decision makers.
The breakthrough in council support occurred when a political bridge was built at the last minute between Deputy Mayor Kelly. Who supports the proposed service, and Councilor Pam McConnell, one of the plans harshest critics. Together, they proposed an amendment that led the previously divided councilors to vote unanimously, 44-0 in favour of the proposal. The decision authorizes the city of Toronto to negotiate the necessary changes to the tripartite agreement governing Billy Bishop airport with the Toronto port Authority and Transport Canada.
Councillor McConnell’s amendment mollified concerns among opponents that the city could be led into an in-for-a-penny-out-for-a-pound situation, by spelling out specifically that going ahead with negotiations would not “in any way imply city concil’s support for or against the airport expansion or the introduction of jets.” It ensures all that neither the plans or planes will fly unless both live up to their promise by meeting the most rigorous standards in terms of noise of any urban airport in North America.
It is ironic that opposition focused on noise. Because whisper jets like the CS100 are equipped with a brand new kind of jet engine, technically known as a geared turbofan. Whisper jets are two to four times quieter than all previous commercial jet engines. As reported by this writer in The Bulletin online edition March 28.
They are the first- ever jet engines as quit as turboprops and will have less impact on the environment in terms of both noise and pollution than the Bombardier Q400 turboprop aircraft currently serving Billy Bishop airport.
Robert Deluce, Founder and chairman of Porter Airline, said, “the adoption of the city staff report and recommendations puts a framework in place that will ensure relevant question are answered and we believe will ultimately lead to an approval of whisper jest and longer range destinations.
Seeing the formerly divided councilors come together in such a positive way indicated both how important this issue us and how well Toronto’s councilors were able to overcome their differences and see the big picture. Far more is at stake than offering Toronto’s elite leisure-access to the world. Once fully approved next year. The service will also provide the world access to Toronto.
Having an airport within minutes of Downtown is a feature that no other North American city can offer. By giving both business and vacation travelers alike such time-saving and money-saving convenience. Torontonians can expect to see tens of thousands of new visitors spending tens of millions of dollars in their city.
Councilors also seemed swayed by the fact that more than a benefit for Toronto’s own future is at stake. Because whisper jets are the future of aviation. Toronto’s support will have significant impact of the economic future of Canada.
Commercial aircraft and engine manufacturers around the world are quickly transitioning to the leaner and greener technology and Canada’s own Bombardier is leading the way. Thousands of direct and many thousands of related high-tech Canadian jobs are involved, from Downs view airport in Toronto to manufacturing plants in Quebee and around the nation.
Whisper jets are as quit as they are because less noise means less energy is lost. That translates into lower fuel-use and less pollution. They will be the cleanest and greenest commercial jets ever flown.
With so much on the line for so many, expert a full-court press to win final approval for the new service within the next year. To win ovwe any remaining doubters. Porter Airlines and Bombardier would be well served by bringing one of their new whisper jets to Toronto for a flyover.
If flown at the lowest level allowed of only one thousand feet (300 meters) above ground level. Residents would be able to see and hear from themselves just how astonishingly quit Bombardier’s new whisper jet really is.
Ian steer, is a local resident, an astro – physicist and aviation enthusiast