By Olivia Roger
Porter Airlines is keeping a close eye on the Bombardier’s CSeries commercial aircraft, the so-called whisper jets, after a successful maiden flight took off shortly before 10 this morning.
The regional airline, which has been under fire since placing a conditional order on 12 of the CSeries jets in April, was in attendance at Montreal’s Mirabel International Airport today to see the CS100 in action.
Before the jets can have a home at the Billy Bishop Island Airport where Porter is headquartered, the firm must first extend its runway by 200 metres at each end and have the ban lifted on jets as is currently set in place under the terms of the 1983 Tripartite Agreement.
Porter is confident that it will meet the safety standards and requirements set in place. “Once we saw the plane take off, the process became well under way,” Brad Cicero, Porter Airlines’ director of communications and public affairs, told Humber News. “Anybody who was here today was able to recognize quite quickly that it is an extremely quiet aircraft. It meets the noise standards.”
Residents of Toronto have been vocal in expressing concerns regarding the effects the jets may have on public health, economics within the city, as well as noise and air pollution.
No Jets T.O., an organization that represents citizens concerned with preserving the mixed use of Toronto’s waterfront, has received support from the Toronto and York Region Labour Council in the past week after they voted unanimously to oppose the use of the new aircraft at the Island Airport.
“We congratulate Bombardier on the successful flight and we are looking forward to seeing the CS100 at Pearson International Airport, not at the Island Airport or the waterfront,” Tim Ehlich, the communication chair of No Jets T.O., said to Humber News. “[The use of jets] is going to diminish the quality of the waterfront that brings 14 million visitors each year.”
Discussions will continue this Thursday for the third (and what could be the last) public consultation, at the Direct Energy Centre at 6 p.m. The meeting had been previously postponed to allow residents time to further review the technical reports. The Toronto Port Authority announced Friday it has since rejected its invitation to attend the meeting.