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New public opinion survey highlights overwhelming support for Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

23/05/2024

Toronto (May 23, 2024) – PortsToronto today released new public opinion research that highlights Torontonians’ overwhelmingly positive opinions of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. According to the 2024 survey, conducted among more than 2,000 Toronto residents aged 18 years and older with an oversample of those living along Toronto’s Waterfront, 78% of respondents characterize their opinion of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport as favourable. Further, satisfaction by those who use the airport has reached an all-time high of 98%.

The survey, conducted by Viewpoints Research, included weighting to ensure responses reflect the actual distribution of the population by age, gender, and region using Statistics Canada Census 2021 data. Results are consistent with past surveys commissioned by PortsToronto that have been undertaken every two years, with the last survey taking place in 2022. Key findings of the 2024 survey include:

  • 77% of respondents agree that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a valuable asset for Toronto and is an important gateway that supports business and tourism;
  • 78% of respondents agree that it makes sense for Toronto to have an airport downtown;
  • 72% of respondents agree that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is a good use of land;
  • 85% of respondents agree that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport’s environmental sustainability initiatives are important;
  • Nearly 80% of respondents support the addition of new destinations from Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport across Canada and the United States; and,
  • 68% of passengers travel through the airport for leisure; 24% for business; and 6% combine their business and leisure travel.

Only 2% of those surveyed had a negative opinion of the airport, citing reasons such as lack of direct public transit options, fewer destinations serviced than other airports, and noise.

Looking to the future, 83% of respondents agree that the airport’s governing agreement should be updated so that Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport can continue to provide the connectivity upon which Torontonians depend. Full survey results are available here.

Quotes

“By virtue of its location in the heart of Canada’s largest city, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport offers a level of convenience and efficiency for travellers that is truly unique, and in so doing provides innumerable benefits including connectivity, convenience, access to healthcare and support for the economy by enabling tourism and trade,” said RJ Steenstra, President and CEO of PortsToronto, owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “This survey confirms the data we’ve collected from previous surveys and the feedback we hear regularly confirming that the vast majority of Torontonians love their downtown airport, and they see its continued operation as a vital part of the city’s bright future.”

“I extend my thanks to Torontonians for their strong support of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport,” said Neil Pakey, President and CEO of Nieuport Aviation, owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. “Recognition of the important role that the airport plays for the city, our community, and visitors is high among residents. Moreover, of those respondents who use Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, 98% rate their experience as positive—a strong indication that we’re providing passengers with the stellar travel experience they want and deserve.”

“As familiarity with Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport increases, it also continues to garner consistently high satisfaction ratings (98%), and this survey confirmed the highest level of awareness (81%) to date as compared to past surveys and the lowest level of dissatisfaction (2%),” said James Valcke, Director of Research and Strategy at Viewpoints. “We also measured strong support for environmental initiatives, reflecting a community-wide preference toward modernization and sustainability.”

Methodology

Viewpoints Research conducted this online survey from March 15 to 28, 2024, among a random sample of 2,041 Toronto residents aged 18 years and older with an oversample of residents living along an area called the Waterfront. The Waterfront includes water’s edge communities spanning from Etobicoke to Scarborough.

The margin of error of this sample (n= 2,041) is +/- 2.17%. The margin of error is wider among subsets of some questions and crosstabulation breakouts. Data was weighted by region, gender and age using the 2021 Census to ensure that the sample is representative of Toronto’s population. Results are expressed as percentages unless otherwise noted, and response rates include the full sample unless otherwise noted. Results may not add to 100% due to rounding.

About Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

Offering service to more than 20 cities in Canada and the U.S., with connection opportunities to more than 100 international destinations via our airlines’ networks, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is an important international gateway that will offer US Preclearance in 2025. The airport is a key driver to Toronto’s economy, generating more than $2.1 billion in total economic output and supporting 4,450 jobs, including 2,080 directly associated with the airport’s operations. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has served its community for 85 years from its iconic location on the Toronto waterfront, where it facilitates healthcare for Ontarians by providing a base for medevac services connected to local hospitals. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is committed to achieving its vision of cleaner, greener and quieter operations, and is renowned for its unique travel experience, efficiency, and customer service, having won a host of passenger-driven and environmental achievement awards. Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport is owned and operated by PortsToronto. To learn more, visit www.billybishopairport.com.

About PortsToronto

For more than 100 years PortsToronto has worked with its partners at the federal, provincial and municipal levels to enhance the economic growth of the City of Toronto and the Greater Toronto Area. PortsToronto owns and operates Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, which welcomed approximately 2.8 million passengers in 2019; the Outer Harbour Marina, one of Canada’s largest freshwater marinas; and, Marine Terminal 52, which provides transportation, distribution, storage and container services to businesses at the Port of Toronto. PortsToronto is committed to fostering strong, healthy and sustainable communities and has invested more than $28 million since 2009 in charitable initiatives and environmental programs that benefit communities along Toronto’s waterfront and beyond. PortsToronto operates in accordance with the Canada Marine Act and is guided by a nine-member board with representation from all three levels of government. To learn more, visit www.portstoronto.com.

About Nieuport Aviation

Nieuport Aviation is the owner and operator of the passenger terminal at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport. Backed by Canadian and international pension funds and supported by significant international expertise in managing aviation operations, we are committed to world-class customer service for the millions of customers using the airport. In addition to managing the passenger terminal, Nieuport Aviation offers passengers a free bus shuttle service between the airport and downtown Toronto, helping to provide a seamless travel experience. For more information, please visit www.nieuport.com. Since acquiring the airport terminal, Nieuport has invested $60 million in upgrades, recently opening the Aspire Business Lounge for Canadian travellers. Nieuport is further investing in the development of the US Customs pre-clearance facility, to be opened in 2025. For more information, please visit www.nieuport.com.

About Viewpoints

For over 35 years, Viewpoints has conducted research using the most trusted methods to give clients across Canada a better understanding of public opinion and what moves it. Supported by a team of experts in quantitative research, data science, and qualitative methodology, Viewpoints uses the best tools to find the most rigorous answers. Viewpoints is owned and led by women, and team members work with clients across the country dedicated to making life better for people who live in Canada. To learn more about Viewpoints, please visit www.viewpoints.ca.

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Contacts

Jessica Pellerin, Senior Manager, Communications, PortsToronto

jpellerin@portstoronto.com

Ryan White, Senior Manager, Communications and Public Affairs, Nieuport Aviation

ryan.white@nieuport.com