Hamil­ton air­port part of new south­ern On­tario net­work

Pear­son over­flow plan be­gin­ning to take shape for re­gional flight cen­tres

The Hamilton Spectator - - BUSINESS - MARTA MARYCHUK Oakville Beaver with Spec­ta­tor files

Of­fi­cials from John C. Munro In­ter­na­tional Air­port say they hope to take on ex­cess ca­pac­ity from sky­rock­et­ing growth ex­pected at Pear­son Air­port over the coming decades.

“We have the ca­pac­ity here to meet the grow­ing de­mand,” said Hamil­ton air­port spokesper­son Dina Carlucci.

“If there is a spillover ef­fect from Toronto, we are ready to take that on. Our run­way ca­pac­ity can def­i­nitely take it and our ter­mi­nal ca­pac­ity can take it as well. ”

The South­ern On­tario Air­port Net­work (SOAN) net­work, an­nounced May 9, says air travel in south­ern On­tario is ex­pected to reach ap­prox­i­mately 110 mil­lion pas­sen­gers by the early 2040s.

“When we look at the cur­rent ca­pac­ity among air­ports in the re­gion, we would be leav­ing 20 mil­lion pas­sen­gers ‘on the table’ if we don’t take action now,” said Howard Eng, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer of the Greater Toronto Air­ports Au­thor­ity (GTAA). “Thank­fully, we have a net­work of great air­ports who have come to­gether to start brain­storm­ing ways to cap­i­tal­ize on this in­cred­i­ble op­por­tu­nity.”

The net­work also in­cludes Billy Bishop Toronto City Air­port, Lake Sim­coe Re­gional Air­port, Lon­don In­ter­na­tional Air­port, Oshawa Ex­ec­u­tive Air­port, Ni­a­gara District Air­port, Peter­bor­ough Air­port, Re­gion of Water­loo In­ter­na­tional Air­port and Wind­sor In­ter­na­tional Air­port. Among the net­work’s goals are: Com­plet­ing an eco­nomic anal­y­sis of the im­pact SOAN will have for the re­gion and the prov­ince;

Un­der­stand­ing the ground trans­porta­tion needs in south­ern On­tario and ad­vo­cat­ing for in­vest­ment in ground trans­porta­tion im­prove­ments that will re­duce con­ges­tion and green­house gas emis­sions;

De­vel­op­ing best-in-class strate­gies for re­spon­si­ble and sus­tain­able air­port growth, in­clud­ing com­mu­nity en­gage­ment and noise man­age­ment.

In con­junc­tion with the launch event, the net­work re­leased a state­ment of in­tent that em­pha­sizes plan­ning for growth in a re­spon­si­ble way is es­sen­tial; without it, the re­gion could po­ten­tially leave $15 mil­lion in GDP on the table and force more than 20 mil­lion pas­sen­gers to look else­where for their air travel needs.

Mem­bers say they rec­og­nize the re­gion has the po­ten­tial to meet the grow­ing de­mand for air travel.

Toronto Pear­son is cur­rently the sec­ond largest air­port in North Amer­ica in terms of in­bound in­ter­na­tional traf­fic, ac­cord­ing to the GTAA. Last year, 44 mil­lion pas­sen­gers trav­elled through the air­port and 500,000 tonnes of cargo was trans­ported across the world.

Trans­port Canada, the de­part­ment within the govern­ment of Canada re­spon­si­ble for de­vel­op­ing reg­u­la­tions, poli­cies and ser­vices of trans­porta­tion in Canada, and On­tario’s Min­istry of Trans­porta­tion are also contributors to SOAN’s work.

Oakville North- Burling­ton MP Pam Damoff said SOAN would be a good thing for south­ern On­tario. She said the new net­work would in­te­grate trans­porta­tion in the area and help re­duce traf­fic con­ges­tion — es­pe­cially for peo­ple who are em­ployed at the air­port.

Although there is no rea­son to be­lieve that the new net­work will in­crease air­port noise in the Oakville-Burling­ton area, Damoff said: “We still need to deal with the noise is­sue.”

Damoff said she has a lot of con­fi­dence in He­lios, the con­sul­tant hired to con­duct an in­de­pen­dent re­view of airspace for flights ar­riv­ing and depart­ing Toronto Pear­son Air­port. He­lios was hired by Nav Canada (a privately-run, non­profit cor­po­ra­tion that owns and op­er­ates Canada’s civil air nav­i­ga­tion sys­tem) in 2016, in re­sponse to com­plaints from Oakville res­i­dents of air traf­fic noise.

Damoff said she has brought for­ward con­cerns raised by res­i­dents dur­ing a com­mu­nity con­sul­ta­tion He­lios held in Oakville ear­lier this year, to fed­eral Trans­porta­tion Min­is­ter Marc Garneau, to en­sure these con­cerns are ad­dressed.

Oakville Mayor Rob Bur­ton had some con­cerns about the new air­port net­work, say­ing it was un­clear what im­pact, if any, the an­nounce­ment of the net­work will have on air traf­fic noise pol­lu­tion in the com­mu­nity.

“Coun­cil is sup­port­ive of any changes that im­prove ser­vice for our res­i­dents, while min­i­miz­ing air noise within sur­round­ing com­mu­ni­ties.”

If there is a spillover ef­fect … we are ready to take that on. DINA CARLUCCI HAMIL­TON AIR­PORT

SCOTT GARD­NER, THE HAMIL­TON SPEC­TA­TOR FILE PHOTO

Hamil­ton’s John C. Munro In­ter­na­tional Air­port could land travel, cargo busi­ness from Pear­son air­port over­flow.

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