On July 11, 2011 Transport Canada released the findings of the 2010 Pickering Lands Needs Assessment Study. The study was conducted to broaden and update previous work on the role and capacity of airports in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area in meeting future needs for passenger, cargo and recreational traffic within a 25-year horizon.
The Government of Canada has noted that the study determined that an additional airport will be required in the Greater Golden Horseshoe area in the future and that the Pickering Lands would be a prime location for a new airport. The study also recommends that the Government of Canada retain and protect the site for future development of a new airport.
“With more certainty regarding timing for the need for an airport, our government’s next step is to come up with a plan for the Pickering Lands, taking into account the needs of the region and stakeholders,” said the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities. “We will develop a plan for the short- and long-term development and use of these lands, including the potential for a future airport, for the benefit and economic growth of the Greater Toronto area.”
The Government of Canada will prepare a federal plan for the Pickering Lands in the coming months.
“The Pickering Lands represent a unique economic and environmental opportunity to help transform a key area of the GTA through job creation, economic activity and environmental stewardship,” said the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance and Minister responsible for the Greater Toronto Area. “This brings us one step closer to a resolution on this issue.”
Transport Canada undertook a due diligence review prior to releasing the study, checking and verifying its assumptions, methodology and findings to ensure completeness and adequacy. The study determined that an additional airport will be required in the Greater Golden Horseshoe Area between 2027 and 2037. Future development will depend on economic factors, the development of existing airports and population growth.
For more information about the 2010 Pickering Lands Needs Assessment Study, please visit www.tc.gc.ca/eng/ontario/pickeringstudy.htm.