Porter unveils second Toronto City runway extension concept

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Porter Airlines has unveiled a second proposal for an extended runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City airport as it continues to seek approval to operate the Bombardier CS100 jet on the island.

The new design would extend the main runway at Billy Bishop by 200m into the water on either side of the island.

Porter submitted an initial proposal in April to extend the runway by 168m on each end after unveiling a conditional order for 12 Bombardier CS100 aircraft and 18 options, with deliveries beginning in 2016.

The increased distance of the second option would allow the CS100 to use less power when taking off, says Porter, which could mean less noise when aircraft leave the airport. The specific amount the power would be reduced by has not yet been determined, the airline tells Flightglobal.

The carrier says that it would support both options for the runway extensions. Porter and a consultancy team put together the runway studies, which will be peer reviewed by the city of Toronto, says the airline.

Billy Bishop's main runway now measures nearly 4,000ft (1,219 m), shows a proposal filed by Porter Airlines to the city of Toronto. The city is undergoing a two-phase study on the effects of the airline's plans, and an executive committee will further review the proposals at a 24 September meeting. A final city council vote on the project is expected by December, says Porter.

Porter's chief executive Robert Deluce told Flightglobal during the April launch event that the city would need to approve the conditions by July to allow ample time to make preparations ahead of a 2016 delivery. That timeline has passed, but the carrier says it could still reach that deadline if a decision is reached by the end of the year.

"Timing that results in a decision before year end works for us in terms of still allowing delivery of the first CS100 to take place by January 2016," the airline tells Flightglobal.

The city has also said it will research whether other types of in-development jets such as the Embraer E2, Boeing 737 Max, Airbus A320neo and Mitsubishi MRJ70 and 90 models could meet the airport's stringent noise requirements. Competing Canadian airlines Air Canada and WestJet both submitted letters to the city requesting that the city consider looking at opening the airport to all jets that fit the noise requirements rather than just one aircraft type.

To firm the conditional order, Porter would have to receive approval to operate the CS100 type at Billy Bishop, which currently bans commercial jets from taking off or landing at the airport. A tripartite agreement among the City of Toronto, the Canadian government and the Toronto Port Authority limits the types of aircraft that can operate at the airport and strict noise and emissions restrictions through 2033.