TORONTO — The owner and operator of Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has released a request for interest (RFI) as part of a preliminary step to identify a financial investor for the airport.
This initiative is exploratory, stated a recent release from island airport owner PortsToronto, and is intended to initiate a comprehensive study of possible options available to PortsToronto to “support the airport as a critical transportation asset.”
The process aims to identify a financial investor that would be interested in operating the airport under lease, and is being undertaken in an effort to reduce PortsToronto’s overall debt position; restore and enhance liquidity; enable ongoing and future infrastructure investment; and ensure the airport’s long-term viability, stated PortsToronto.
The next step would be a request for proposal later this year in consultation with the City of Toronto and the federal government including Transport Canada.
“It is incumbent upon PortsToronto, as owner and operator of Billy Bishop Airport, to explore options to manage risk and enhance liquidity in a manner that allows PortsToronto to fulfil its mandate, support Toronto’s economy, and ensure that the airport continues to serve as an asset,” said Robert Poirier, chair of PortsToronto, in the release. “This RFI will inform a strategic evaluation of opportunities regarding the airport by effectively extending the existing and successful P3 structure we already have in place with several key concessions at the airport.
“Importantly, PortsToronto will remain the signatory to the Tripartite Agreement with the City of Toronto and the federal government and as such will retain oversight of the airport and maintain control over such areas as slots, safety and environmental sustainability.”