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Canadians loved Porter and its island outpost when it was a little upstart. But its success is causing worries among city dwellers who prize their lake views over jet-set convenience.

Residents of Toronto are up in arms against about Porter Airlines‘ plan to expand its presence in the city’s smaller downtown airport, Billy Bishop. The regional Canadian carrier headquartered at the island airport has already expanded its presence there twice, but its latest proposal is facing opposition from some city residents.

Porter wants to start flying larger jets out of Billy Bishop, as opposed to sticking to the turboprop crafts it has used up until now. Porter has purchased Bombardier CS100 “whisper jets” that have the same volume level as its current prop planes. Hosting the CS100s would require a 400 meter runway expansion to accommodate a longer takeoff process, and opponents argue the new flight path would detract from the city’s famous views of Lake Ontario. More importantly, residents say, they fear the plans would increase the noise the airport produces.

Many area residents have told city council meetings that they moved in counting on an agreement that the airport wouldn’t get any bigger.

Plans for the expanded Billy Bishop island airport.

Advocates for the airline, meanwhile, say that its expanded presence would help create competition and reduce fare prices nationally, as well as bring in revenue for Toronto. The airline has taken to its Facebook page to rally support for a September 19 hearing at City Hall.

The city has commissioned studies, paid for at least in part by Porter, on how much noise the new airport would produce as well as how much money it would bring to the city.

The final decision on whether to lift the airport’s ban on jets will likely be made in December.

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Tags: canada

Photo credit: The new Porter "whisper jet" from Bombardier. Porter Airlines

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