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Mayor Ford supports Porter’s expansion plans

Aaron Lynett / National Post

TORONTO – Mayor Rob Ford came out in support of the plans by Porter Airlines to expand services at Toronto’s downtown airport.

“I don’t have a problem with it,” Ford said. “Overall, I don’t see this being a bad thing, I think it’s a good thing.”

However Ford did hedge his support saying the city must be confident the jets are quiet.

On Wednesday, Porter announced it had purchased a fleet of Bombardier CS100 jets with plans to land them at Billy Bishop Airport – on the condition the airline company could expand the runway by 168 metres on either side and make amendments to the 1983 Tripartite Agreement.

Ford said he had been briefed on the expansion plans by Porter President and CEO Robert Deluce prior to the announcement.

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In order for Porter to be allowed to land jets or lengthen the runway, the federal government, Toronto Port Authority and City council must all agree to amend the 1983 Tripartite Agreement.

Jets are currently not allowed to land at the island airport.

These Bombardier CS100 jets, dubbed “whisper jets,” are among the quietest in the industry.

“If these jets are as quiet as they say they are, it creates jobs, it’s great for business,” Ford said.

Both Rob and Doug Ford have now come out publically in support of Porter’s planned expansion.

However, not all city councillors are in favour of landing jets in the downtown core.

Councillors Adam Vaughan and Karen Stintz have both expressed hesitations about the noise and unintended consequences that may arise by allowing Porter to land their CS100 jets at the airport.

Ford brushed off suggestions the airline expansion could become an election issue saying that if the airline creates jobs, then it has his support.

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