Sailors oppose airport expansion

Plans by Porter Airlines to land jets at the Toronto island airport is not sitting well with some sailors, who fear the airport will become noisier and an exclusion zone will grow.
Some sailors, members of various yacht clubs near Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, are voicing their concerns about airport expansion. Some have joined an anti-jet group called No Jets or another citizen’s group calling for the airport to close.

Many are opposed to a move by the airline to use Bombardier’s CSeries jets to replace Q400 turboprop planes that have been used for some years already. The airline is seeking city and federal approval to use new planes it calls “whisper jets” that are quiet.

And the company argues that it will not have to enlarge an exclusionary zone at the end of the runway that needs to be expanded for jets by 168 metres (about 550 ft) out into the inner Toronto harbour and the Lake Ontario sides of the airport.

But some sailors disagree, like Doug Gill, a 14-year member of Queen City Yacht Club (QCYC), which is located in the inner harbour not far away from the airport.

“That’s ridiculous. The exclusive zone must be to international standards,” said Gill, about a line of buoys in the inner bay off of the end of the runway, marking a “keep out” or exclusionary area that boaters must avoid or face large fines.

Gill, who has a 34 Catalina, said any movement of the buoys further into the inner harbour will impact boaters who want to get to nearby Hanlan’s Point, a popular spot with a breakwall and pier for tying up.

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