Pickering may need an airport by 2036: KPMG

There is a projected need for an airport in Pickering by 2036, said the KPMG Aviation Sector Analysis released by the Transport Canada.

“We’re excited by what we’ve read in this report—the need for an airport by 2036. A 21st century airport will attract companies in aviation, aerospace and related services and industries,” said John Henry, Durham Regional Chair and Chief Executive Officer, in a statement.

“It also aligns with our economic development plans; providing jobs and prosperity across the Greater Toronto Area. That’s why it’s important to get this right. With only 16 years to prepare for such an important and complex infrastructure project, we need to start planning now,” he added.

Oshawa has a functioning airport.

The KPMG Aviation Sector Analysis looked at five options for the federally-owned Pickering Airport lands, which were set aside more than 46 years ago (in 1972) for airport development.

Is it needed?

“First, the question was ‘if’ an airport was needed. That question has been answered—there will be a need for an airport. Then the question was ‘when’. That has been answered today—we need to get ready for 2036,” said Pickering Mayor Dave Ryan. “Now, it’s up to the people of Durham, York and Pickering to determine ‘how’, which is great news for all of us. We have a responsibility to come together and plan to build something truly amazing.”

“Developing the Pickering Airport Lands will allow us to attract high-value manufacturing and high-value jobs to York Region, Durham and Pickering,” said York Region Chairman and CEO Wayne Emmerson. “This is the first step in the development of an economic engine that will transform the future of the entire eastern GTA. We have a lot of work in front of us, but also a tremendous opportunity to build our communities and foster new jobs.”

The 8,700-acre site, also known as the Pickering Airport Lands, can create a major employment zone adjacent to a new airport. These lands are ready for oversized infrastructure; designated for a major employment cluster, close to where people live. It also provides a chance to support one of Durham Region’s largest and most valuable economic drivers: agriculture, said a region statement.

“Similar to other global examples, this site has the potential to connect modern farming and aviation,” continued Henry. “We’re focused on sustainable airport operations that have the smallest possible carbon footprint and the biggest possible impact on our economy and quality of life.”

The City of Pickering, and the regions of York and Durham will continue to meet to best determine how to engage the community and support the federal government in the planning process.

ALSO READ:

Pickering will be GTA Engine of Growth: MP O’Toole

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6 thoughts on “Pickering may need an airport by 2036: KPMG

  1. Hi, your article is misleading, if you read the Transport Canada report nowhere in it does it state categorically that Pickering needs an airport. Only that there is a projected need should one of the 4 scenarios outlined in the report comes to fruition. “Although all four scenarios identify minor capacity deficits, these can be overcome with modest expansions in aircraft apron and air terminal facilities at the airports in the southern Ontario airport system. Therefore, a new airport is not expected to be required in southern Ontario prior to 2036 to meet the forecast demand. While the anticipated increases in the capacity of the southern Ontario airport system are expected to be sufficient to handle projected traffic demand within the 20 year planning horizon of this study, circumstances and industry trends can change. Also, the findings of this study do not preclude the need for a new airport in southern Ontario beyond the 20 year planning horizon.”

  2. Thanks for correcting the head.

    Body of the story is still incorrect. Report does not state, ‘There is a projected need for an airport in Pickering by 2036’ but that in scenario #3 there may be a need for added capacity. However it does not state that Pickering is where that extra capacity will be the solution. From the KPMG report,

    In evaluating the capacity of the airports within the southern Ontario airports system, three conditions were assessed: 1) Base Condition – 2016 airport infrastructure, 2016 aircraft mix, 2016 ATC practices and procedures, 2) Condition A – 2016 airport infrastructure, 2036 aircraft mix, 2016 ATC practices and procedures, and 3) Condition B – 2036 airport infrastructure, 2036 aircraft mix, and anticipated 2036 ATC practices and procedures. At Toronto Pearson Airport, it was found that the GTAA applies an hourly cap of 90 movements per hour in planning its operations. Considering the base condition, a runway passenger capacity of 53.1 million PPA was determined for Toronto Pearson Airport in 2016. Under Condition A, it was determined that Toronto Pearson Airport has the capacity to support 61.4 million runway PPA, and under Condition B, the airport can accommodate 73.7 million runway PPA.

    When considering all of the capacity definitions and calculations, Toronto Pearson Airport’s existing (2016) capacity and ultimate (2036) capacity was found to be most limited by terminal apron capacity (number of aircraft stands); however, it was determined that the GTAA has the ability to overcome these capacity shortfalls by undergoing facility expansions within the existing airport’s property boundary.

    Billy Bishop Airport’s existing (2016) capacity was found to be most limited by terminal apron capacity (capacity of 2.5 million PPA) and by the number of commercial aircraft slots permitted under current noise restrictions and the Tripartite Agreement between the City of Toronto, Ports Toronto, and the Government of Canada limiting the runway passenger capacity to 4.3 million PPA. Billy Bishop Airport’s future (2036) capacity was also found to be limited by terminal apron capacity (capacity of 3.0 million PPA). Waterloo Airport’s existing (2016) and future (2036) capacity was found to be most limited by the air terminal facility with an ability to support only 250,000 PPA in 2016, and 2.3 million PPA in 2036. Hamilton Airport’s existing (2016) capacity was found to be limited by the air terminal capable of supporting only 850,000 PPA, and the future capacity of Hamilton Airport was also found to be limited by air terminal capacity (3.1 million PPA).

    Overall, based on 2016 infrastructure, operational practices and aircraft mixes, the southern Ontario airports system is projected to have the capacity to support 94.7 million runway PPA. Based on anticipated conditions in 2036, the system is expected to have the capacity to support 119.6 million runway PPA. The practical movement capacity of the general aviation airports within the southern Ontario airports system was determined to be 903,000 based on 2016 infrastructure and operational practices, decreasing to 761,000 in 2036 based on the anticipated closure of Buttonville Airport in 2019.

    In order to compare the capacity of the southern Ontario airports system against the forecast demand, scenarios were developed examining various factors that have an influence on both the capacity of airport facilities, and the passenger and aircraft movement demands. Four (4) scenarios were developed as part of the study to determine if there will be an overall capacity shortage or surplus within the southern Ontario airports system within the 20 year planning horizon: 1) Scenario 1 – 2016 Airport Conditions, 2036 Demand, 2) Scenario 2 – 2016 Airport Conditions, 2019 Demand (Buttonville Airport Closure), 3) Scenario 3 – 2036 Airport Conditions, 2036 Demand, and 4) Scenario 4 – 2036 Airport Conditions, 2036 Demand (With High-Speed Rail).

    Scenario 1 results demonstrate that demand in 2036 will surpass the annual runway passenger, terminal apron, terminal building, and groundside parking passenger capacities at Toronto Pearson Airport. In addition, demand is expected to marginally exceed terminal apron capacity at Billy Bishop Airport. When examining general aviation airports within the system, it was found that there will be a capacity surplus of approximately 404,000 annual practical runway movements in 2019. Nonetheless, while current (2016) airport capacities are not sufficient to fully accommodate 2036 demand, capacity improvements can be undertaken within existing passenger airport boundaries to meet the demand, and a new airport is not expected to be required in southern Ontario prior to 2036 from a capacity standpoint.

    Scenario 2 results indicate that forecast passenger demand in 2019 will not exceed the estimated capacities of the majority of the passenger airports, with the exception of Toronto Pearson Airport where annual terminal apron passenger capacity and annual groundside passenger capacity will fall short of forecast demand, and at Billy Bishop Airport where terminal apron capacity was found to be in deficit The closure of Buttonville Airport is expected to result in a system loss of 172,000 annual practical runway movements; however, a capacity surplus of 211,000 annual practical runway movements will still exist within the southern Ontario airports system under the parameters of Scenario 2. Provided capacity enhancements are undertaken at the existing passenger airports, it is anticipated that there will be sufficient capacity in the southern Ontario airports system in 2019 to support forecast demand, without the requirement to build a new airport.

    Based on the medium forecast demand and considering the long term airport development plans incorporated in the parameters of Scenario 3, Toronto Pearson Airport is expected to experience a capacity deficit in terms of annual terminal apron passenger capacity and annual groundside parking passenger capacity. Billy Bishop Airport is also expected to have a capacity deficit in terms of terminal apron capacity. It is expected that these capacity deficits can be overcome by expanding facilities within the existing airport property boundaries. In terms of the general aviation airports, a surplus capacity of 262,000 annual practical runway movements was identified within the southern Ontario airports system, indicating adequate capacity to support general aviation activities to 2036.

    Scenario 3 also considered the Transport Canada high demand forecast and it was determined that Toronto Pearson Airport is expected to experience a capacity deficit in terms of annual runway passenger capacity, annual terminal apron passenger capacity, annual terminal building passenger capacity, and annual groundside parking passenger capacity. This is the only instance identified within the study where runway passenger demand could exceed the estimated capacity for annual runway passengers at Toronto Pearson Airport. In addition, terminal apron capacity at Billy Bishop Airport was found to be lower than projected demand. However, it is expected that capacity shortfalls at Toronto Pearson Airport and Billy Bishop Airport can be overcome to support 2036 demand, indicating that there are no major capacity constraints, and a new airport providing additional capacity is not required in southern Ontario as per the parameters of Scenario 3 and as compared against the medium and high demand forecasts.

    Scenario 4 results indicate that when accounting for a reduction in demand based on the introduction of high speed rail services in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, annual terminal apron passenger capacity and annual groundside parking capacity are identified as capacity constraints for Toronto Pearson Airport. Similar to other scenarios, it is expected that these capacity shortfalls can be overcome through expansions within the existing passenger airport property boundaries. This suggests that adequate capacity exists within the southern Ontario airports system and an additional airport in southern Ontario would not be required (from a capacity standpoint) to meet 2036 demand, under the parameters of Scenario 4.

  3. It is Time to Build Pickering Airport
    The recently released report from KPMG laid out a viable business case for building Pickering Airport.
    Part of a recently released report from KPMG contains a 135-page business case for a new airport setting a minimum 8% internal rate of return for financial success. If you define success in dollars and cents this is more than enough to attract private investors. The report suggested breaking ground in 2026 on a utility airport to support light industry. Passenger capacity can then be added as it is needed to provide local accessible capacity in support of Durham regions development.

    For years those opposed to Pickering Airport have chanted a No Business case mantra. With that barrier leaped Anti-Airport forces ( see other comments) have pivoted to claiming passenger demand should be the sole deciding factor on when the airport is built. Further that a “Modest” $4 billion capacity buildout at the Waterloo and Hamilton airports could delay the need for the airport until after 2036.

    This “Build Pickering Last” logic supports building aviation infrastructure hours away from where it is needed right here in Durham region. Some are even using the current pandemic to dispute the viability of the business case for an airport that will open 10 years from now.
    There is no need to delay infrastructure projects expected to open a decade from now (such as subways or airports). The opposite is true. There is a need for thousands of jobs and billions in economic activity right here right now.
    It is time to follow the suggestions of the experts at KPMG and build Pickering Airport.

  4. A good article. I see from the comments that the anti airport folks ( current lease holders) are spinning away with select misreading and flood the field responses. The ASA report opens itself up to this as it is not well written, with four sections plus seemly conflicting Conclusions that blurs the line between the need for a new airport vs new passenger capacity.

    To clear things up a couple of quotes from the report may be in order:

    “In essence, a new airport in Pickering will be required once the existing airports within the southern Ontario airport system are at or approaching capacity.” (Page 18)

    in the Executive Summary (and Section 8.0 Scenario Development) , the ASA makes it clear that additional airport capacity is need in the GTAH before 2036, but Pickering airport can be delayed if passenger capacity is built at Waterloo and Hamilton airports. So far both airports have declined to do so. Another section of the KPMG ASA report openly states (on page 223) that those expansions at distant Waterloo and Hamilton would be expensive and are not justified (by a business case).

    The report then uses 100 pages to show that Pickering airport is financially viable (+8% IRR, page 395) and suggests opening a new industrial utility airport before existing maximum passenger capacity is reached.  (see page 334 of the ASA report).

    It suggests it is prudent to break ground on a utility airport first and add passenger capacity as needed ( page 334). The date 2026 is mentioned to begin construction in the scenarios section ) let’s get at it!

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