Hamilton airport part of new southern Ontario network
Pearson overflow plan beginning to take shape for regional flight centres
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
Hamilton’s John C. Munro International Airport could land travel, cargo business from Pearson airport overflow.