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International general aviation gathers in Toronto: A waterfront airport with a differenceInternational general aviation gathers in Toronto: A waterfront airport with a difference

23rd IAOPA World Assembly
Introduction
User fee threat
Improving public perception of "those little airplanes"
The "Meigs Field of Canada"
Safety and technology, and the power of numbers
World action

A waterfront airport with a difference

City Centre Airport
City Centre Airport terminal

Many U.S. pilots are familiar with Toronto's City Centre Airport, one of the best GA airports in the world serving a major metropolitan area. The airport is a five-minute cab ride away from the heart of the city. Since the airport itself is on an island, it has safe, quiet, overwater approaches. Built in 1939, the airport has almost iconic status, and the former terminal building (now a restaurant and office) is a Canadian national landmark.

That may sound an awful lot like Chicago's former lakeside airport, Meigs Field, and the parallels don't stop there.

Toronto also had a mayoral candidate who ran on an anti-airport initiative, and who succeeded in killing a previously approved bridge to the island airport when he couldn't kill the airport itself.

Run-up area

Boyer made a side trip to the island to meet with City Centre Airport Director William Yule to fully understand the status of the airport and its future. Yule, who has worked at the airport for 50 years, was upbeat about progress. While the bridge was killed, a new covered ferry will go into service soon. Billed as the "shortest ferry ride in the world," it quickly transports pilots to the mainland cab station and a quick ride into the city.

Boyer also saw construction of a new terminal to augment state-of-the-art hangars for a new commuter airline service starting in August. "Canadians and AOPA members from south of the border are very well served by this wonderful aerodrome," said Boyer.

Next: Safety, technology, and the power of numbers.

June 22, 2006

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