Ad­di­tional daily ser­vice slated for LSRA

The Enterprise-Bulletin (Collingwood) - - OPINION - IAN MCINROY im­cin­roy@ post­media. com

ORO- MEDONTE TWP. — Lake Sim­coe Re­gional Air­port ( LSRA) is mov­ing on up.

The Oro- Medonte Town­ship fa­cil­ity is one of three new On­tario air­ports in­cluded in plans an­nounced Tues­day by FLYGTA Air­lines, a Cana­dian air­line which op­er­ates out of Billy Bishop Toronto City Air­port on Toronto Is­land.

FLYGTA said it will add daily ser­vice to LSRA and Re­gion of Water­loo In­ter­na­tional Air­port on Nov. 6 and Lon­don In­ter­na­tional Air­port com­menc­ing in De­cem­ber.

That’s great news for Lake Sim­coe Re­gional Air­port man­ager Mike Drumm.

“It’s def­i­nitely a pos­i­tive for the air­port,” he said. “What it’s go­ing to do for our re­gion is pro­vide the abil­ity to in­ter­act with Canada’s main eco­nomic cen­tre ( Toronto) by get­ting to Billy Bishop air­port and pro­vid­ing con­nec­tiv­ity to other larger air­line flights.

“You fly to Billy Bishop, hop off and go to one of the larger car­ri­ers down there, for in­stance Porter or Air Canada, and you’re on your way to Bos­ton or wher­ever.”

The new des­ti­na­tions are in ad­di­tion to the Ni­a­gara District Air­port in Ni­a­gara- on- the- Lake, to which FLYGTA has of­fered reg­u­lar daily com­muter flights since Septem­ber 2016, with eight flights per day.

Not only will the new flights re­move some of the load off Toronto Pear­son In­ter­na­tional Air­port, they will also help ease traf­fic strain on On­tario’s high­ways, ac­cord­ing to FLYGTA chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Chris Nowrouzi.

“This will be a big ben­e­fit to trav­el­ers be­cause we can turn long car rides on busy high­ways into short, com­fort­able flights that will get our pas­sen­gers where they want to go in a mat­ter of min­utes.”

Drumm also al­luded to High­way 400 when de­scrib­ing the ben­e­fits of the new ser­vice to Lake Sim­coe Re­gional Air­port.

“What would Bar­rie look like to­day if that 400 con­duit was lim­ited to what it was 50 years ago?” he asked. “Bar­rie would’ve been a small town. It would not be the eco­nomic cen­tre it is to­day.

“LSRA is the same thing. We’re pro­vid­ing that con­duit to new mar­kets, which is only go­ing to foster new growth.”

The dis­tance from Billy Bishop Air­port to the Lake Sim­coe Re­gional Air­port is 130 kilo­me­tres, to the Lon­don In­ter­na­tional Air­port 185 kilo­me­tres and to the Re­gion of Water­loo In­ter­na­tional Air­port 101 kilo­me­tres.

“To­day, it’s about Billy Bishop,” Drumm said. “To­mor­row? As the mar­ket con­tin­ues to evolve and the ser­vice es­tab­lishes it­self, we can con­tinue to re­view new routes and de­mand, and from that, per- haps in the fu­ture, there may be the op­por­tu­nity to have con­nec­tiv­ity to those re­gions as well ( from LSRA).”

The South­ern On­tario Air­port Net­work re­ports air traf­fic in south­ern On­tario is ex­pected to reach ap­prox­i­mately 110 mil­lion pas­sen­gers within 25 years.

In 2015, Pear­son Air­port han­dled 443,000 flights and 41 mil­lion pas­sen­gers.

MARK WANZEL/ FILE PHOTO

Air­port man­ager Michael Drumm stands be­side a cor­po­rate jet at the Lake Sim­coe Re­gional Air­port in this file photo.

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