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Crowd at town hall divided on proposed jets at island airport

TORONTO – Those for and against a proposal to fly jets in and out of Toronto’s island airport took to the microphone Thursday at a packed town hall to make their plea.

Proponents argued that the expansion would be a boost to Toronto’s economy.

“Our decision should be made based on fact — not emotion. It’s a positive addition to Toronto,” one man said.

A Porter Airlines’ employee tried to make his case but was met with boos.

“In many ways, Toronto is a reflection of Porter and Porter is a reflection of Toronto and many of its values and characteristics,” he said.

Noise levels, which is among the concerns for some, is not a worry for one island resident who wants to see the jets fly in.

“I hear more noise from the city than I hear from the planes going past,” she said.

But NoJetsTO chairman Anshul Kapoor said the island is no place for jets.

“We say no to jets. They’re not going to land on our waterfront. They’re not going to land on an island,” he said.

“This is our island, this is our city and we’re going to fight to protect it.”

Currently, jets are not permitted at the island airport due to an agreement with the city, feds and port authority. But Porter wants this agreement altered.

Test data on the noise levels of the engines is yet to be available. The CSeries jets took flight for the first time on Monday.

The city’s final report on the issue will go to Mayor Rob Ford’s executive committee in December.

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