Toronto Port Authority addresses criticism of slot allocation at City Centre

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Officials from the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) are defending a 202 slot cap recently instituted at Billy Bishop Toronto City Centre Airport.

Air Canada is an ardent critic of the cap, and has had a long-standing dispute with TPA over access to the island airport after Porter Airlines debuted from the facility in 2006.

Air Canada is challenging TPA's recent slot allocation that assigned 44 slots to Porter, 30 to Air Canada and 16 to Continental Airlines. Air Canada in the past has requested 74 slots at the airport, and in its latest legal action taken against TPA argues the authority's allocation shows favouritism to Porter.

During TPA's recent annual meeting authority CEO Geoffrey Wilson said: "As you may know, we are being targeted for criticism by certain airline carriers for not expanding slots further. With respect for our neighbourhood stakeholders, this is a criticism we can live with."

Wilson says the 202 slot cap is within limits defined by the City of Toronto and the federal government, and "respects issues of congestion" and concerns raised by "our neighbours".

TPA estimates passenger throughput at the airport of 770,000 in 2009, and believes that should rise to 1.2 million this year.