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Porter asks to land jets on Toronto island airport

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm •  Published: April 10, 2013

TORONTO (AP) — Porter Airlines is seeking permission to land jets at Toronto's island airport and extend the runway on the city's waterfront as the upstart airline seeks to expand to destinations across North America, the company's chief executive said Wednesday.

Jets currently are not allowed to fly out of the waterfront airport under an agreement between the city, Canada's federal government and the Toronto Port Authority. Porter Chief Executive Robert Deluce said he wants the rule changed within six months.

Porter, a popular passenger airline since its debut in 2006, flies turboprops short distances but now hopes to fly jets to places like Los Angeles, Vancouver, Calgary and Florida.

A deal to buy 12 Canadian-made Bombardier CS100 jets is conditional on getting approval for the jet and runway expansion.

The proposal is expected to meet with stiff community opposition. A previous Toronto mayor won an election by fighting the construction of a bridge to the island airport. But Toronto now has a conservative mayor, and the federal government is also conservative and is closely aligned with the port authority.

The Toronto Port Authority said it wouldn't take any position on Porter's business plans. A spokesman for the prime minister deferred comment to Transport Canada, a federal agency, which said it has not been approached by either the city or the port authority nor received a request from anyone to amend the agreement against jets. A spokesman for the mayor didn't return messages.

Adam Vaughan, a councilor who represents the district around the airport, said the proposal is not likely to be approved by city council.

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