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Pickering Airport (Transport Canada/GTAA, Proposed)

ShonTron

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I was tempted to also suggest Moncton-Halifax, but with the new expressway, and winding railway track, I just don't see how buses aren't more effective.

Is Sydney even an option any more? I thought that there wasn't any service other than just across the causeway. Globe and Mail says it was abandonded in 2015 -https://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/railway-shuts-down-cape-breton-line-after-135-years/article22472332/
it'd be a bus connecting at Truro. It was sad to see the tracks rusted away through Cape Breton on our visit in 2017.

As for the Newcastle Sub, it's a lot more scenic than the Edmundston Sub as it follows the coast. I'd be sad to see it abandoned, even thought it'd mean a faster trip. The interior of New Brunswick is incredibly boring, like Northern Ontario but without all the interesting rock formations.
 
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kEiThZ

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Pretty much - Regina-Saskatoon would be the only other thing that comes to mind ... but probably easier to drive. People are going to fly before taking a 9-hour train trip on business.
I was tempted to also suggest Moncton-Halifax, but with the new expressway, and winding railway track, I just don't see how buses aren't more effective.
LIved in both those areas. I would be tempted to suggest similar corridors. It’s on my personal fantasy map. But let’s be honest. Building a rail line that people will actually use regularly between Regina-Saskatoon and Halifax-Moncton is just not supportable with their populations. The capital cost out west really makes any investment in intercity rail unjustifiable.

Maybe some day once the major corridors (Quebec-Windsor and Calgary-Edmonton are done, the rest of Canada will be more inclined to support intercity public transport.
 

nfitz

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Building a rail line that people will actually use regularly between Regina-Saskatoon and Halifax-Moncton is just not supportable with their populations.
I wouldn't have suggested if the track wasn't still there. Looking at the October 1976 VIA (CN) schedule by then train from Regina to Saskatoon took 3 hours and 20 minutes with 10 stops. The non-stop bus was taking 2 hours and 55 minutes or 3 hours 30 minutes with stops. It's not mainline track, so presumably the lack of capacity wouldn't be an issue.

This would be a provincial area these days - I doubt there's any interest in the government there.
 

kEiThZ

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I am still curious to see the business case for Pickering.

Pearson Terminal 1 was part of a $4.4B development plan. And that's with tons of existing infrastructure. YYZ also gets to spread that cost over 50 million passengers annually. And it still costs $25 per departure.

It would cost several billion to build an airfield, terminal and access roads in Pickering for just a few million pax per year. And after that, who are the tenants going to be? Low cost carriers by definition don't operate from new, expensive airports. And no way Air Canada or WestJet will split their hubs at Pearson. So who exactly will fly to/from Pickering?

The GTAA may agree that Pickering should happen. But I still don't see anyone putting up serious money and starting the various assessments to get the ball rolling.

I can see a GA airport. Maybe some push to close out the Island and move that traffic to Pickering. But a reliever to Pearson? That's a big stretch.
 

gweed123

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I am still curious to see the business case for Pickering.

Pearson Terminal 1 was part of a $4.4B development plan. And that's with tons of existing infrastructure. YYZ also gets to spread that cost over 50 million passengers annually. And it still costs $25 per departure.

It would cost several billion to build an airfield, terminal and access roads in Pickering for just a few million pax per year. And after that, who are the tenants going to be? Low cost carriers by definition don't operate from new, expensive airports. And no way Air Canada or WestJet will split their hubs at Pearson. So who exactly will fly to/from Pickering?

The GTAA may agree that Pickering should happen. But I still don't see anyone putting up serious money and starting the various assessments to get the ball rolling.

I can see a GA airport. Maybe some push to close out the Island and move that traffic to Pickering. But a reliever to Pearson? That's a big stretch.
The only way Pickering would really work is if the cost of the airport and the construction of the terminal are borne by the government and don't get passed on to the passengers like the Pearson reconstruction was. The terminal also wouldn't need to be a Taj Mahal if it's being used primarily by discount carriers.
 

kEiThZ

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The only way Pickering would really work is if the cost of the airport and the construction of the terminal are borne by the government and don't get passed on to the passengers like the Pearson reconstruction was. The terminal also wouldn't need to be a Taj Mahal if it's being used primarily by discount carriers.
The Taj Mahal complaints are always overblown. The marginal cost to build a larger, airy terminal is really not that high. And the retail built in there is revenue positive.
 

H4F33Z

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I am still curious to see the business case for Pickering.

Pearson Terminal 1 was part of a $4.4B development plan. And that's with tons of existing infrastructure. YYZ also gets to spread that cost over 50 million passengers annually. And it still costs $25 per departure.

It would cost several billion to build an airfield, terminal and access roads in Pickering for just a few million pax per year. And after that, who are the tenants going to be? Low cost carriers by definition don't operate from new, expensive airports. And no way Air Canada or WestJet will split their hubs at Pearson. So who exactly will fly to/from Pickering?

The GTAA may agree that Pickering should happen. But I still don't see anyone putting up serious money and starting the various assessments to get the ball rolling.

I can see a GA airport. Maybe some push to close out the Island and move that traffic to Pickering. But a reliever to Pearson? That's a big stretch.
It would only make sense if they built easier access from pickering airport to downtown toronto and pearson airport. High speed rail maybe🤔
 

kEiThZ

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It would only make sense if they built easier access from pickering airport to downtown toronto and pearson airport. High speed rail maybe🤔
That’s not cheap. Who’s going to pay for it? When there’s one airport, it was easier to argue that government should facilitate access. Tougher to make that case for a brand new airport.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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That’s not cheap. Who’s going to pay for it? When there’s one airport, it was easier to argue that government should facilitate access. Tougher to make that case for a brand new airport.
Indeed - with that much capital investments you might as well build a full blown HSR.

AoD
 

micheal_can

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Unless YYZ is at or over capacity with current aircraft, then there is still no business case for it. There may never be one.
 

gweed123

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The Taj Mahal complaints are always overblown. The marginal cost to build a larger, airy terminal is really not that high. And the retail built in there is revenue positive.
I wasn't speaking specifically about airy, but rather the size of the terminal itself compared to the demand it needs to serve. We don't need a Mirabel-sized terminal when all that is required is a Hamilton-sized one.

Unless YYZ is at or over capacity with current aircraft, then there is still no business case for it. There may never be one.
And even then, I'd prefer shifting some of the demand for the 'feeder' flights (Ottawa, Montreal, Windsor, etc) onto HSR and free up capacity for the longer-haul flights that way.
 

kEiThZ

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We don't need a Mirabel-sized terminal when all that is required is a Hamilton-sized one.
I don't think what's proposed for Pickering is a Mirabel sized airport. But I do think proponents are significantly understating the costs involved. The Pearson ADP spent nearly $5B, I believe, and most of that was airside investment. Including demolishing 30 buildings. The terminal itself costs about a billion I think. A Hamilton sized airport with jetbridges is probably a $1+ billion undertaking. And getting to the size of say Quebec City's airport would be several billion.

And even then, I'd prefer shifting some of the demand for the 'feeder' flights (Ottawa, Montreal, Windsor, etc) onto HSR and free up capacity for the longer-haul flights that way.
Not sure about Windsor, but decent rail service should change the way airports are fed. AC should bolster their Montreal hub and feed Ottawa traffic there. London and Kingston traffic could go via rail with better integration and service. Heck, VIA-UPE to access Pearson is already very popular in Kingston.

Ultimately though, airlines will deal with slot congestion at Pearson with better prioritization of routes and upgauging. There's no reason, for example, that Sudbury needs seven flights of 50-seater Q300's per day. That kind of service is a luxury that AC can afford because Pearson is not nearly as congested as Pickering airport proponents argue. If it was, towns like Sudbury would see three flights a day of mainline 120-seaters.
 

nfitz

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I don't think what's proposed for Pickering is a Mirabel sized airport .... The terminal itself costs about a billion I think.
Mirabel is freight-only and general aviation with no terminal. I thought the plan for Pickering for day one was also freight and general aviation only. If they are building a terminal, then it would be bigger.
 

micheal_can

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Ultimately though, airlines will deal with slot congestion at Pearson with better prioritization of routes and upgauging. There's no reason, for example, that Sudbury needs seven flights of 50-seater Q300's per day. That kind of service is a luxury that AC can afford because Pearson is not nearly as congested as Pickering airport proponents argue. If it was, towns like Sudbury would see three flights a day of mainline 120-seaters.
News headline "Air Canada cutting 1 flight per day" would have the citizens and ultimately the customers up in arms. Who cares if it is bigger planes. Who cares the if the times are actually better.

Try that same headline for some where major "Air Canada cuts 1 flight per day between Toronto and Vancouver". Do you think that would play out any better.

What really should be done before a shovel goes into the ground at Pickering is the existing GTHA airports get expanded. What I mean is the services such as rapid transit, parking, terminal and other facilities get expanded such that sending other flights to those airports make sense. If, for instance all Air Canada Rouge/Jazz/whatever they are calling it now, all went to Hamilton, and, say the budget arm of Westjet went to Waterloo, or they all went to Oshawa, then you have Go Train to get you to Pearson, that would work as a reasonable way to reduce planes at Pearson.

I still cannot see a business case for Pickering if the other GTHA airports are not congested.
 

kEiThZ

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News headline "Air Canada cutting 1 flight per day" would have the citizens and ultimately the customers up in arms. Who cares if it is bigger planes. Who cares the if the times are actually better.
Headline in a local newspaper of a small town. Nobody would care outside that town. And nobody in that town drives the decisions of a publicly traded airline. This is reality. Airlines change services all the time. Headlines don't stop them. And if AC needs those slots, that's exactly what they will do. Don't like it? Drive.

If a city like Ottawa (1.3 million CMA population) can't sustain a handful of 50 seater flights to Chicago (9.5 million metro population), I wouldn't hold my breath too long for half a dozen daily flights to minor centres all over Ontario and Canada. The pilot shortage along with rising fuel and capital costs is forcing average aircraft size up. A slot shortage at Pearson will merely accelerate this trend for Air Canada. Indeed, AC is already phasing out 50-seaters. In 7-10 years, AC won't fly anything from Pearson with less than 75 seats in it unless there's extraordinary yields. This would mean that a city like Sudbury would go from seven Q300s to five Q400s per day.

What really should be done before a shovel goes into the ground at Pickering is the existing GTHA airports get expanded. What I mean is the services such as rapid transit, parking, terminal and other facilities get expanded such that sending other flights to those airports make sense.
This costs money. Who is going to pay? Pearson already has a $25 airport improvement fee. Do you want to pay $50? They build in accordance with projected demand for a reason. And they work with the airlines to optimize that infrastructure for every dollar spent, which includes encouraging the airlines to make the best use of slots that exist.

If, for instance all Air Canada Rouge/Jazz/whatever they are calling it now, all went to Hamilton
They'd cease to exist. Simple as that. Those flights are fed by the rest of the network at Pearson. There's no business case to run the majority of those flights without that feed.

This doesn't even pass the common sense test. Imagine you have are traveling from Sudbury to London Heathrow. So now instead of a standard 1-2 hr layover, AC would have build in a 3-5 hr layover for you to collect baggage, catch a shuttle bus to Pearson, and check in and clear security again. If the GTAA ever insisted on such a boneheaded strategy, I would expect AC to declare Montreal as their major Eastern hub and move more of AC's European services there and force a lot more Torontonians to connect in YUL instead. Would be hilarious to see the unintended side effect of lots of Jazz flyers traveling internationally, facing a double connection in addition to that bus ride from Hamilton.

and, say the budget arm of Westjet went to Waterloo, or they all went to Oshawa, then you have Go Train to get you to Pearson, that would work as a reasonable way to reduce planes at Pearson.
First, Waterloo and Oshawa are too small to handle substantial diversion of traffic. I've flown at Oshawa. 4000ft runway, hemmed in by development and border services restrict it to only planes with less than 50 pax. Waterloo is better. One long runway. But CBSA needs a 2 hr notice for any large commercial service operating in.

Next, no airline sees substantial commercial potential in either airport. Westjet chose to hub Swoop in Hamilton rather than Waterloo for a reason.
 

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