Dear Fellow Members of National Yacht Club, We would like to update the membership on the Board's activities regarding the proposed Billy Bishop airport expansion. You will recall about 10 days ago, I communicated the following: "The Board is contacting all relevant parties outlining our concerns and objections to any changes that affect the peaceful enjoyment of our club and our on water activities." As promised, the proposed airport expansion was an important agenda item at Thursday night's board meeting. Two of our long-standing senior members were invited to present their concerns about the proposed expansion. The board was very interested to listen to their perspective and engaged in a question and answer session to ensure that their concerns were clearly understood. The board has also reviewed the various emails and plans that have been developed by members showing their interpretation of the proposed airport expansion and its potential impact to our access to the lake. We were concerned about the mock-up that showed a substantial extension of the Marine Exclusion Zone. If this were to actually occur, it would cause a serious impediment to our access and enjoyment of the lake. To reiterate, we take any possible negative impact to the enjoyment of our club very seriously and have been encouraged by the many emails applauding our actions to date and encouraging us to continue in the pursuit of this issue. In order to increase our knowledge and understanding of the proposed airport expansion and its possible impact on our club, we invited Porter Airlines to the board meeting. Three Porter Executives, including President Robert Deluce, attended, and the board was provided with a detailed presentation of their planned expansion and the impacts on the club. We then participated in a lively and frank question-and-answer session. Our primary concerns focused on the impact of our access to the lake, and the sound intrusions on our enjoyment of the club. The presentation and discussion provided a great deal of clarity into the proposal and how it may, or may not, have an impact on NYC. Below you will see the proposed runway expansion showing the 168 meter expansion on both ends of the runway. The 168 meters includes the projected future requirement by Transport Canada for a 150 meter Runway End Safety Area (RESA). Based on this, the Marine Exclusion Zone would not have to be expanded beyond its current configuration. This means that the white buoys would not move from their current position, and we would not experience any deterioration of our access to the water. We understand that this is what Porter is telling us. For this reason, we pressed them further on the decision about the exclusion zone. We directly asked Robert Deluce what would happen if Transport Canada insisted on a larger Marine Exclusion Zone. He responded that this would be a deal-breaker and that Porter does not want to interfere with pleasure craft use of the lake. This information was received with cautious optimism by the board. The board is unanimous in the view that this Marine Exclusion Zone should not be expanded in any way. With regard to the impact of sound from the new jets, Bombardier’s commitment of the airplane decibel rating is below the requirement of the original Tripartite Agreement. In order to continue to represent the best interests of the National Yacht Club, the board will be taking the following actions:
- Contact the City of Toronto that we are an “affected party” of the proposed airport expansion, and outline our concerns regarding noise intrusion and our access to enjoyment of the water.
- We will contact Transport Canada and the Toronto Port Authority this week to clarify their interpretation of the marine exclusion zones.
- Contact all potentially affected yacht clubs through the Council of Commodores to share our plan of action and concerns.
- Invite Robert Deluce and the Porter executives to an information meeting with the membership to share their plans, listen to our feedback and answer any questions the members have.