Kingston launches $90K business study to land more carriers

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Kingston launches $90 thousand business study to land more carriers
Kingston is launching a new plan to get more planes flying into the city. A $90,000 business study aims to attract more carriers, more service and cheaper fares. The study comes as Norman Rogers Airport gets ready for a major expansion this spring – Feb 22, 2018

In about a month, Kingston’s Norman Rogers Airport will be taking off on a multi-million-dollar makeover.

The $16.1-million facelift includes expanding the terminal and extending the existing runway. While the new look is under construction, the city will also be figuring out ways to improve service and it starts with a $90,000 business study.

“With this information, we’ll develop business cases,” said Richard Reed, the airport manager. “The aviation scene has changed significantly, we have four new ultra-low-cost carriers entering the market and West Jet and Air Canada, of course, have expressed interest in improving service here.”

The Greater Kingston Chamber of Commerce has long backed the airport expansion. CEO Martin Sherris says the city needs better access to get people here in an efficient manner.

“Right now, the rail service is often more effective than the flight service and if we can get the flight service to work for businesses, that will make a huge difference in hosting events here, to hosting meetings in Kingston.”

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But not everyone is onboard with the airport expansion.

Gerry and Lori Buzzi own Collins Bay Marina, and both fear they may have to close their doors because of the expansion. The Buzzis say once the runway is expanded to 6,000 feet, the marina would be about 500 metres away from the end of the runway.

The couple has been fighting to stop the expansion and claim the wrong information was included on noise and environmental studies.

“They reduced the numbers by over a hundred general aviation aircraft, they reduced the jets down to 1.3 movements and they used the wrong software — all those things combined is what council based their decision on,” said Gerry.

The marina owners have commissioned three of their own studies by two different independent consulting firms and say their data confirms their worst fears.

“If the city used their inputs, the correct information and did the reports correctly, this airport expansion would not be happening — it’s too noisy and the impacts are too great that it certainly wouldn’t be happening,” said Lori.

The Buzzis are now getting ready for an Ontario Municipal Board hearing but it may not come until after the airport expansion is completed this fall.

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