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On Oct. 23, 2018, PortsToronto officially announced the completion of the Billy Bishop Airfield Rehabilitation Program–a significant three-year rehabilitation initiative that included the reconstruction of runways and taxiways, the installation of new energy efficient LED lighting, and the construction of a ground run-up enclosure (GRE) designed to dampen the noise associated with high-power aircraft engine ground run-up operations.
Because Billy Bishop Airport has only one main runway, construction activities associated with the complex project took place during nighttime hours, between 11 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. when the airport was closed to commercial and general aviation air traffic.
The Billy Bishop Airfield Rehabilitation Program modernized the airfield infrastructure–much of which was built in the 1960s–and was completed on budget at a cost of $35 million–paid for by PortsToronto and not taxpayers.
“Completing the Billy Bishop Airfield Rehabilitation Program–ahead of schedule, on budget and with virtually no disruptions to airport operations, travellers and the surrounding community–was no small feat,” said Gene Cabral, executive vice-president, PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
“From start to finish, every aspect of the project was thoughtfully planned and executed to ensure construction activities were virtually invisible to travellers and the community. In the three years the project was underway there was only one six-minute delay in re-opening the airfield and resuming regular operations which speaks to the professionalism and expertise of the team.
“We are proud to officially mark the completion of this successful three-year initiative undertaken to ensure the airport continues to serve as an economic engine for the city as well as provide efficient service and connectivity to the 2.8 million passengers who travel through the airport each year.”
“The airfield rehabilitation project was seamless to the airlines and our passengers,” said Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines. “Work began every evening after the last flight was in, and the runway was clear and operational for start-up the next day. Our pilots immediately recognized the benefits of a resurfaced runway, featuring pavement grooving and LED centerline lighting. We appreciate the considerate planning by Billy Bishop Airport, resulting in a modernized airfield and improved operating conditions.”
Throughout the duration of the program, thoughtful measures were implemented to avoid disrupting passengers and the surrounding airport community.
These measures included an award-winning barging operation that not only eliminated noise and traffic in the surrounding airport community but removed the equivalent of approximately 6,000 trucks off the neighbouring roads, casting construction lighting downwards and away from the city to avoid disturbing those in residential buildings and implementing a policy to reduce the use of vehicle back-up alarms to further reduce noise disturbances.
The project team was led by PortsToronto and Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport staff. PortsToronto engaged WSP Canada Inc., one of the leading Canadian and global aviation consulting firms to provide technical services including planning, design and construction phase inspection services for the project.
The general contractor for the project was Pave-Al Limited, a locally based, general construction contractor with an excellent reputation in completing airfield projects of this scope.
TriStar Inc. was the team’s main electrical subcontractor and Blast Deflectors Inc. (BDI) designed and constructed the GRE facility. BDI has the specialized expertise of having built over 30 GRE facilities worldwide.
For more information on this project, click here.