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.