Vaughan: Island Airport can’t handle an emergency landing

Toronto City Centre Airport (Photo by Duncan McAllister)

Toronto City Centre Airport
(Photo by Duncan McAllister)

Toronto Ward 20 City Councilor Adam Vaughan has issued a statement in response to the April 16th incident at the Toronto Island Airport.

The incident involved the emergency landing of a small aircraft that took off from the Toronto Island Airport after its landing gear failed. The plane circled for several hours and landed safely at Buttonville Airport. Initial reports indicated that this was due to longer runways and safety aprons at Buttonville compared to the Island Airport.
Councillor Vaughan said, “Once again, this reiterates why this is an inappropriate location for an airport. This facility can’t seem to handle an emergency landing for a small plane. What if it was a fully-loaded Porter flight from Newark?” he asked.
“We know that the runways on the island are too short for a normal Q400 plane to land. Porter’s Q400s have been modified by reducing the fuel capacity and thus lowering the weight of the aircraft in order for the planes to land under perfect operating conditions. This reduces the option to circle around for hours or travel to Buttonville in the case of emergency.”
“Residents in the Bathurst Quay neighbourhood live just a short distance away from the Island Airport runways, and have legitimate concerns about their safety,” he said. “Porter’s airplanes have experienced landing gear problems in the past. Older Q400s elsewhere have had even more serious problems,” he said.
He added, “We have raised these issues with the airport before, but these concerns have never been addressed. Today’s events reinforce these concerns. We call for an independent safety inquiry to reassess this airport and reassess allowing commercial planes to use the facility.”