New ground run-up enclosure officially opens at BBTCA

PortsToronto officially opened its Ground Run-up Enclosure (GRE) at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport yesterday, with The Honourable Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport in attendance.

The three-sided, open-top facility will accommodate commercial aircraft at the airport and is designed to dampen the noise associated with high-power aircraft engine ground run-up operations. Standing 14 metres in height, the 63m x 66m enclosure is located on the south-west side of the airfield and is only the second of its kind in Canada.

The addition of the GRE facility represents a key new component in the airport’s Noise Mitigation Program as the acoustically and aerodynamically designed facility, constructed by Blast Deflectors Inc. (BDI), will dampen the impact of ground engine run-ups that are mandated by Transport Canada following engine maintenance to ensure safety.

These engine run-ups have been cited by the community as a primary source of noise prompting PortsToronto to commence construction of the facility in fall 2016. The GRE was constructed at a cost of $9 million, paid for by PortsToronto, and will significantly reduce the acoustic impact of engine run-ups on the surrounding community. The enclosure effectively absorbs noise with specialized acoustic panels that line the interior of the three walls which feature vents for optimal aerodynamic performance.

"Aircraft noise is a complicated issue faced by airports and communities, one that must be managed while ensuring that aviation safety remains paramount," said Minister Garneau during the event. "As our cities grow and airports become a part of our neighborhoods, it’s important that we work together to ensure a balance between the important economic role that airports play, with the well-being of our communities. This project at Billy Bishop Airport is a great example of the federal government working closely with the municipal government and the airport authority to achieve this balance while making a positive difference to the neighbourhood."

The GRE’s completion marks another major milestone in the Billy Bishop Airport Airfield Project, a three-year rehabilitation initiative currently underway at Billy Bishop Airport to modernize the airport and ensure it continues to serve as an economic engine for the city and provide efficient service to the 2.7 million passengers who travel through the airport each year.