Is Toronto getting another airport? Feds announce study on airport capacity needs in Southern Ontario
Business travellers in the Greater Toronto Area might soon have the choice of another airport to fly out of — the federal government has announced an airport study for the region.
It said southern Ontario, which is already Canada’s most populous area, is expected to grow significantly over the next two decades. The GTA area alone is already home to 6.3 million people, it said. Hence the need to assess the requirement for additional airport capacity in the area.
The Pickering Lands — a 75-square kilometre swath of land (18,600 acres) in the eastern portion of the GTA — was bought by the federal government in 1972 for the purpose of developing a new airport. But the government made a point to say no decision has been made yet on the use of that land.
“We have no intention to proceed with building an airport on the Pickering Lands in the near term and the conclusions of the study could lead, for example, to a determination that an airport on the Pickering Lands is not required in the long term,” it said.
Omar Alghabra, the federal Minister of Transport, announced that Transport Canada has issued a request for proposals to hire an aviation professional services contractor to help the department analyze current and future airport supply and demand in Southern Ontario. The contractor will assist Transport Canada officials in scoping the requirements for a comprehensive study of airport capacity in Southern Ontario, as well as a formal consultation process, it said.
“Air travel is essential to growing an economy that works for everyone and creating good, middle-class jobs in Southern Ontario and the rest of the country. As we continue to support the recovery of the air sector, there is a need to study and understand the potential impacts of a growing population on existing airport infrastructure,” said Alghabra. “Today is the beginning of a process to analyze the future of the Southern Ontario airport system. This work will also bring us closer to making a final decision on the Pickering Lands.”
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