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Port Authority releases video highlighting airport's economic importance

Just as Billy Bishop Airport is in the news again, with a proposal from Porter to expand the island airport’s repertoire to jets, the Toronto Port Authority has released a video highlighting the airport’s economic contributions to the city.

The video, which was released on Thursday, is based on an economic impact study done last October, and it’s the first new video the TPA, which runs the airport, has done in more than two years.


"The impact study really is about what the airport contributes to the city and how we want to work with the city in partnership," says TPA president Geoff Wilson. "It’s a very important theme: successful cities embrace their airport infrastructure and understand its role in stabilizing and growing, in our case, the downtown core and bring prosperity in the form of business, commerce and tourism."

He says this airport embrace is a form of natural civic evolution.

"Great cities embrace their ports, then their railroads, then build their highway systems, and the ones that did it well prospered and had strong economies." Airports, he says, are the next historical step.

According to the study, the airport creates 5,700 jobs, of which 1,700 are directly linked to airport operations, handling the 2 million passengers that came through in 2012, a figure that's expected to rise in 2013. The airport has also been calculated to add $640 million in gross domestic product, and $2 billion in total economic activity.

Though Wilson did not want to comment directly on Porter's proposal, the TPA has agreed to fund the first phase of a feasibility study. Wilson would go so far as to say that if Porter's projections of increased passenger traffic are correct, it would increase the airport’s overall economic contribution to the city.

Wilson says the timing of the video has nothing to do with Porter's proposal.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Geoff Wilson

Do you know of a new building going up, a business expanding or being renovated, a park in the works or even a new house being built in the neighbourhood? Please send your development news tips to bert@yongestreetmedia.ca.

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