2 APRIL 2012
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Work has started at the once controversial Toronto City Airport on a pedestrian tunnel to connect the terminal to the mainland. Rather like London City the island airport is such a success that it is hard to believe that someone once ran for mayor opposing it. Around 1.5m passengers passed through in 2011, double the traffic in 2009, and officials expect that number could reach 2m this year.
Thanks mainly to the success of Porter Airlines, the island airport has become a popular and convenient downtown alternative to Pearson. The airline operates 26 of the locally built Bombardier Q400 turboprops and has options on four more. It serves around 20 destinations, Air Canada Express only competing to Montreal. Currently accessed only by ferry the CAN$82.5m 240m tunnel will provide four moving sidewalks, eliminating the wait for the ferry and turning the surge of people coming off the boat into a steadier, more manageable stream.
As Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper put it at a ceremonial groundbreaking, it is an “eminently sensible idea.” Funding will come from the airport improvement fee passengers pay, so government will not bear any direct cost. The tunnel is scheduled to open in spring 2014. www.torontoport.com
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