In a surprise announcement on April 18, 2023, federal Transport Minister Alghabra kicked off a study on airport capacity in Southern Ontario. A prime focus appears to be the Pickering Lands, where it was stated: “We have no intention to proceed with building an airport on the Pickering Lands in the near term and the conclusions of the study could lead, for example, to a determination that an airport on the Pickering Lands is not required in the long term”.
Transport Action Ontario (TAO) has long opposed the Pickering Airport. We believe that improved passenger rail service can provide more than enough capacity for medium distance (< 800 km) trips, so that the existing Pearson Airport could handle all future long-distance needs.
TAO will monitor this study closely. In addition to Pickering, there are other questions that should be studied, including
- Future role of Toronto Island, Hamilton, London and other airports in Southern Ontario
- Adequacy of ground connections to airports, i.e. rail and bus