Toronto Port Authority announces initial results of its RFP process for additional commercial airline services

6/23/2010
 

Airport Coordination Limited to finalize allocation and scheduling of available slots at the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport amongst new and existing carriers

The Toronto Port Authority (“TPA”) today announced that Air Canada and Continental Airlines have submitted responses that met the initial requirements outlined in the formal Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for additional commercial airline services at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (“BBTCA”).

Airport Coordination Limited (“ACL”), an independent international consultancy firm expert in demand and capacity assessment and scheduling process management, evaluated the RFP responses with regard to BBTCA slot requests. During a recent session with the carriers, ACL allocated the 90 available BBTCA slots amongst Air Canada, Continental Airlines and the existing carrier, Porter Airlines. ACL allocated the slots as follows: Porter Airlines, 44 slots; Air Canada, 30 slots; and Continental Airlines, 16 slots. To arrive at this arrangement, ACL is implementing an allocation methodology comparable to that used at other popular North American airports. The balance of the allocation process is expected to be completed in July. This final step will provide carriers with sufficient time to pre-market their new BBTCA services, which are expected to commence upon the completion of the recently-opened new BBTCA terminal.

“One of our priorities in 2008 and 2009 was to diversify the number of destinations and commercial airline carrier options for our business and leisure travellers,” said Mark McQueen, Chairman of the TPA Board of Directors. “Today is an important milestone.”

“The TPA has met with each carrier for in-depth consultation and discussion on issues relevant to the successful operation at the BBTCA,” continued Geoff Wilson, President and CEO of the TPA. “Based on the feedback we received from the carriers, as well as the complementary routes and additional options proposed by all three carriers, the RFP process has achieved our initial goal of providing the travelling public with more carrier options than in the modern history of this airport. Over time, we hope our carrier partners will add a series of new destinations, which will further enhance the value proposition of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.”

As is customary at many airports, the new carriers will be required to enter into a commercial carrier operating agreement (“CCOA”) with the TPA before they can commence flight operations from the BBTCA. Porter Airlines entered into a restated CCOA on April 9, 2010. Air Canada and Continental Airlines must also secure appropriate terminal space from the City Centre Terminal Corp. – BBTCA’s terminal operator – which has the exclusive right and contractual obligation to provide all commercial carriers with access to the new terminal once the construction project is completed at the end of 2010.

“The BBTCA experienced record passenger numbers in May and June, and we are forecasting continued strong demand over the course of the year,” said Wilson. “Passenger numbers have increased significantly since the TPA recruited Porter Airlines in 2005, as Toronto continues to embrace the unique service value of the airport. We fully expect this trend to continue as we welcome the arrival of additional commercial airline services from Air Canada and Continental Airlines.”

In January 2010, the TPA announced that it had initiated a process to bring forth Public-Private Partnership (“P3”) proposals to design, build, finance, operate and maintain a pedestrian tunnel connecting to the BBTCA. The TPA is currently undertaking an environmental assessment of the project via Dillon Consulting. The first public meeting was held on March 24, 2010, with the second meeting scheduled to take place in the coming months to give the general public additional, organized opportunities to provide comment and input before any construction commences. The TPA has also met individually with local community stakeholders to gather their input and address any concerns they may have regarding the process or the project itself.

About the Toronto Port Authority

The Toronto Port Authority was incorporated on June 8, 1999 as a government business enterprise under the Canada Marine Act as the successor to the Toronto Harbour Commissioners. It is a federal public authority providing transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses. The TPA owns and operates the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Marine Terminals 51 and 52, and the Outer Harbour Marina. The TPA also provides regulatory controls and public works services to enhance the safety and efficiency of marine navigation and aviation in the port and harbour of Toronto.

Further information about the TPA is available at www.torontoport.com.