October 8, 2015

"Regional airports like Windsor will become more important in the coming decades with passenger travel in Southern Ontario expected to explode.

Air passenger travel in the region is expected to more than double by 2043, exceeding the capacity of all airports in Southern Ontario combined, says a report done for the Greater Toronto Airports Authority. The GTAA, which operates Toronto’s Pearson International, is touting collaboration as the key to handling the growth.

“The dialogue is starting and Windsor is being given a seat at the table,” said Hillary Marshall, vice-president, stakeholder relations and communications.

“Airports like Windsor should start to think about what role they can play in a larger system of airports that serve our region,” Marshall said. “Perhaps that means general aviation, or a more specific service such as cargo. Ultimately, it’s for each airport to decide and also to seek support from their local community.”

Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens said GTAA representatives came to the city last week to share the report’s key findings.

It is estimated that airlines operating out of airports between Windsor and Kingston will be serving about 90 million passengers by 2043, the report says. But those airports have the capacity to serve only 70 million.

Dilkens said the scenario presented by the GTAA was that Pearson should focus on international flights and smaller airports like Windsor should handle more regional air traffic.

“We are already doing some of it,” said Dilkens, touting the latest announcement that National Airlines will be running semi-weekly flights to Orlando, Fla....."

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