Updated Feb 5, 2019:
A report has been completed, a recommendation has been made and the need for the Pickering Airport is overwhelming. If the reports recommendations are followed, some time this year the federal government will make an announcement green-lighting the new international jet airport in Pickering. The long and ongoing process of building Canada continues. The question is, will they follow the recommendations? When will the public announcement of the Pickering Airport be made and why is the Minister of Transport delaying the KPMG’s report release?
The report in question is a capacity study done by a five-person KPMG team for Transport Canada. It is fulfilling the number one recommendation of the 2016 Polonsky report, the first independent unbiased study done on the Pickering lands in a generation. Dr. Polonsky cut through the self-serving plans from the Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA) and public relations exercises from groups profiting from the status quo and provided an unbiased view of the Pickering lands opportunity for Canadians.
The KPMG “Pickering Lands Aviation Sector Analysis” was commissioned by Transport Canada as a million-dollar follow-up to Dr. Polonsky’s first recommendation: Undertake the analysis required to make a decision on the need for an airport.
Two credible sources have confirmed that the in-depth KPMG report was completed in the summer of 2018, yet the federal Minister of Transport, the Honourable Marc Garneau has yet to sign off on its release to the public. The report from the KPMG team is expected to support the immediate development of the Pickering Airport. It is projecting a strong business case with updated data on aviation demand and capacity in the region.
Minister Garneau’s recent position has been that any decision on the airport would need to have a strong business case, and that he would abide by the KPMG reports recommendation. Is Air Canada, secure in its fortress Hub at Pearson, afraid of the competition the new airport, operated by a new airport authority, will support? Is the GTAA lobbying the government to stop its release for the same reason?
When will the Canadian public see the report? When will Marc Garneau fulfill his promise and embark on the next step to build Pickering Airport? To build accessible aviation capacity to support an environmentally efficient and prosperous future for all Canadians?