Changes at Toronto City Centre Airport

Update: I’ve just received a PDF of the new apron layout from the airport manager.

A few weeks ago, I had a coffee with Flyin Dutchman, a local professional pilot here in Ottawa (Dutchman flies a Pilatus PC-12 all over North America — check out his weblog for some excellent photos). He mentioned that there have been some significant changes at my favorite airport, Toronto City Centre. Starting from what he gave me, I’ve been following the news, exchanging e-mail with COPA and working the phones when I’ve had a chance, and here’s a summary of what I’ve been able to find:

Changes at CYTZ since last summer

  • As most people already know, Porter Air is now flying a regular schedule between Ottawa and City Centre using DASH-8s: I’m hearing them frequently on ATC frequencies. Air Canada Jazz has also managed to restore service to City Centre, though I’m not sure if they’re using the same terminal as Porter. (not yet, according to Paul Hayes.) This is good news for the future of the airport.
  • The Toronto Port Authority suspended the $11.50 landing fee for light aircraft belonging to COPA (and, I think, AOPA) members over the summer, but they have since reinstated it.
  • The new ferry and dock are in operation.
  • Porter Air (at the west end of the field) is currently the only FBO selling fuel at CYTZ, since they bought away the Esso franchise from (much more GA-friendly) TransCapital. Porter charges $1.50/litre + GST for 100LL (2006-12-11), plus a $10 ramp fee for a quick fueling of a light piston single. Parking is $35/night. No fees are waived for buying fuel.
  • TransCapital (at the east end of the field) has not quite given up the ghost yet — they have tanks in place, and hope to resume selling Jet-A and 100LL in the new year under a different brand. In the meantime, they still offer parking for only $20/night (when they had fuel, they waived the first night with a fuel purchase, and never charged a ramp fee if you wanted to fuel up or park for a few hours during the day).

Choices, choices

Assuming that you’re visiting Toronto for two nights, you can either pay a total of $80 in extra fees to park and fuel up at Porter, or $40 to park at TransCapital, and then stop to fuel somewhere on your way in or your way home (such as Peterborough for me). Once TransCapital sells fuel again, you’ll probably be able to get away with only $20 for two nights’ parking, if they go back to waiving the first night’s charge with a fuel purchase.

If you’re just visiting for a few hours, I’m not sure if TransCapital will charge you the $20 or not (since they’re not making money on fuel right now), so it would be a good idea to call first and check. By spring, I hope that everything will be back to normal, more or less.

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5 Responses to Changes at Toronto City Centre Airport

  1. Flyin Dutchman says:

    Hello Dave !

    Thanks for the plug on your post πŸ™‚

    As for Porter and service…I don’t want to seem like I am dumping on them but here is what I have noticed from a year of
    basically calling the place my second home.

    1.Friendliest staff and most outgoing staff of any FBO I frequent and its a joy to see them everytime I go in.

    2.They are a low volume FBO in terms of movement I would say and if there is more then one plane requiring a tow,fuel or any
    other service they seem to get overwhelmed and you might have to wait awhile to get anything.

    3.I have had to call a few times when I was dispatched earlier then expected so in order to get a leg up on the clients I
    called ahead to have the airplane brought to the line, and if they could brew me some coffee, and get me some ice. Each time I
    called I arrived to my airplane being parked still in the weeds and no coffee ready. When I enquire the person stated that
    they were busy and forgot (its d’islands mon it ain’t busy!)

    4.I try never to buy gas there as its the most expensive in my neck of the woods but we always pay the ramp fee even if
    we do a 6 minute turn and were not even marshalled in. Better then the 250 to shut down at Signature in KIND but
    we sometimes come in 4 times a day to YTZ. One day I required about 800 litres and the bill was over a 1000 bucks and they still made
    me pay the damn ramp fee. Its not my money but its just good business and the Aero Toy Store in Montreal waves it all the time
    for quick turns. But wait, I don’t have a choice of where to go at the Island πŸ™‚

    5.The staff are supppper friendly though and its always a pleasure to see and chat with them (just wanted to make that clear
    in my whining πŸ™‚

    Anyways for you private fliers I sure hope things can work out more in your favour. If it was my dime I would be feeling the
    same way and like you said in your previous post Dave this kinda stuff takes the fun out of flying.

    Merry Christmas to you !


  2. david says:

    Thanks for the comment, FD.

    I don’t have the same service requirements as a business turboprop with paying customers, obviously, but I’ve always been happy with the support I’ve had at TransCapital (especially from Garth) for me, my family, and my Hope Air passengers. I’ve heard stories of people flying in for lunch without taking fuel and still being allowed to park a few hours for free. Personally, I’ve always bought gas from them (the 100LL, at least, was reasonably priced) and I was glad to hear that they’re working on getting a new fuel supplier.

    I heard from COPA that another concern is Porter’s plan to start scheduled flights to the U.S. That’s good for the airport, of course, but it might crank up security a lot at the main terminal (and Porter FBO) — you and your pax could end up waiting 20 minutes while a U.S. flight boards, for example. We’ll have to keep our fingers crossed.

  3. Flyin Dutchman says:

    Great more delays πŸ™‚

    In Provincetown, Cap Cod there is scheduled service to Boston Logan via Cape Air 402’s. There is a large yellow perimeter that can not be penetrated at any time because it is the designated secure area. We were told if you park with your wingtip in it you will have to move. I also learned it was a secure area when I walked inside it to take a picture of the 402 on the ramp. So maybe like you said that is what YTZ will be like. Porter is down the way so it should remain seperate I am sure but like you said, no more walking right out to the aircraft.


  4. Blake says:

    There are some “technical” changes with regards to the lighting at YTZ too. I’ve written them up at my blog here:

  5. Flying_Celt says:

    There’s a meeting on Tuesday night at Porter’s FBO at CTZ, here’s the details:

    Find out what’s happening at
    Toronto City Centre Airport (CYTZ)

    Tuesday, February 13 at 7:30 pm
    Porter FBO at CYTZ (landing fees waived!)

    Open to anyone who would like to hear about the future of general
    aviation in the GTA. Landing fees are waived for the meeting, which
    will feature:

    – Kevin Psutka, COPA President, who will provide his perspective on
    general aviation and airports in the Greater Toronto Area.

    – Jim Morrison, VP Porter Airlines/Porter FBO, who will discuss Porter
    Airlines, what the FBO has to offer for our sector of aviation.

    – Bill Yule, CYTZ Airport Manager, who will be available to provide
    information and answer questions about the airport.

    – a discussion about the need for and future of COPA Flight 32 as a
    focal point for central Toronto pilots.

    RSVP and send any questions to Bill Nalepka, Flight 32 Captain at or call 416-222-2124

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