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Saturday 1 February 2014

Runway extensions give more reasons to move the Toronto Billy Bishop Airport

In my original post "Moving the Toronto Island Airport" I re-proposed the idea of moving the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to the end of Leslie Street, the current site of Tommy Thompson Park.

The extension to the existing airport runway to accommodate jets had yet to be proposed when I wrote the first post. With Porter's proposed runway lengthening, the argument is even more powerful to relocate the airport.

Here is a quick mockup of what the extensions will do to the runways (thanks to Google Maps and some very poor photoshop skills and also thanks to the Global News website for helping to conceptualize the extensions)

The red lines denote where the runways end currently.

These extensions would pretty much end any possible expansion or redesign of the airport while addressing zero of the current problems with the existing airport design and location.

The end of Leslie has ample room for the existing airport with the runways extensions, not to mention it is on the mainland and accessible by road. With the construction of the new Leslie Barns for the TTC, the Leslie Street airport would be incredibly handy for streetcar access as well.

Now I am no airport architect and I am sure that a newly developed airport would be able to take advantage of the shape and orientation of the new location much better than my cut-and-paste job. I just wanted to show the Billy Bishop Airport superimposed on the new location to demonstrate the space available. It is apparent that there would be ample room for a modern airport as well as streetcar and passenger dropoff/pickup, not to mention a future cross or along-the-lake-ferry terminal

There is quite a campaign now from those both for and against the airport expansion. I think there is an alternative. Contact your city council member and let them know your views. And if you happen to think moving the airport is a viable alternative, at least one that should be explored, let them know that too and send them the link to this blog.

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