Mr. Robert Deluce, Porter Airlines President & CEO (center) with his team
after CSeries Flight Test Vehicle 1’s (FTV1) first flight on September 16, 2013.
It’s been over six months since Porter Airlines announced their conditional order to buy up to 30 Bombardier CS100s. In order to finalize the order, Porter needs permission from the City of Toronto to operate the CS100s at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ), and has asked for extensions to be added to both ends of the main runway at the waterfront airport. Currently, jets are not allowed to operate from YTZ, and Porter flies Bombardier Q400 turboprops from their YTZ base.
BONUS: Review- Flying Porter Airlines From Toronto to Montreal and Back
On Thursday morning, Toronto’s Deputy City Manager filed a report that analyzed Porter’s requests. Simply, it says that granting approval is premature. Among issues cited, there isn’t yet enough noise or operational performance data on the CS100; runway extension impact and noise modelling has not been completed; and there isn’t a clear direction or plan for YTZ’s expansion, and how it will be funded is in question.
In addition, the agreement banning jets at YTZ expires in 2033, and the report says that the impact of Porter’s request should be considered before this no-jet-noise agreement is extended. Overall, the report recommends that research continue, and that a new report be filed in March 2015. Thursday’s report will be considered by the City’s Executive Committee on December 5th, and depending on the outcome, by the full Council on December 16th.
CS100 Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) during fuel flow testing.
Photo: Bombardier Aerospace
Here’s what’s been going on with the Bombardier CSseries over the past few weeks:
- Bombardier announced that their team had completed the CSeries Complete Airframe Static Testing (CAST) for Safety of Flight. This was the last of seven tests required for obtaining flight certification for the CS100 from Transport Canada. In step with the Static Testing, the CS100 ’œAircraft 0’ Integrated Systems Test Rig has been ’œflying’ since last August.
- On June 4, Moscow-based leasing company Ilyushin Finance Co (IFC), firmed up its order for 32 CS300s, along with options for 10 more CS300s. That brings the CSeries firm orders up to 177 aircraft.
- On the same day, it was revealed that Gulf Air is the previously undisclosed customer for 10 CS100s that have been part of the firm order book since June 2011. Gulf Air also holds options for 6 additional CS100s.
- Bombardier’s President, Pierre Beaudoin, has said that they’re on schedule for the first flight of the CS100 by the end of June. There’s been speculation that the first flight would happen before the Paris Air Show, which starts June 17th. But Chet Fuller, Bombardier’s Senior Commercial VP dismissed the rumors. However, Flight Test Vehicle 1 (FTV1) was moved to Bombardier’s flight test centre last week.
- And following up on our earlier story about Porter Airlines’ order for CS100s, Toronto City Council recently voted to hire independent consultants to analyze the Porter proposal. Porter’s order for 12 CS100s is conditional on getting a 500 foot extension built on each end of the main runway at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport (YTZ). Some results of the study will be reported to Toronto’s Executive Council in early July, with the issue expected to return to full council in November.
What do you think? Will FTV1 not fly until June 30th? Or will they try for the first flight while the Paris Air Show is on? If so, I’m thinking it would be great PR, and support for their marketing efforts at the show.
||This story written by… Howard Slutsken, Correspondent. Howard has been an AvGeek since he was a kid, watching TCA Super Connies, Viscounts and early jets at Montreal’s Dorval Airport. He’s a pilot who loves to fly gliders and pretty well anything else with wings. Howard is based in Vancouver, BC.
Bombardier CS100 seen in Porter Airlines livery.
On Wednesday, Porter Airlines President Robert Deluce announced that his airline will be the Canadian launch customer for Bombardier’s next-generation jetliner, the CS100. The conditional order is for 12 CS100s, along with options for an additional 18 aircraft.
The CS100 can fly with up to 110 passengers, with a range of about 5,400 km or just under 3,000 miles, turning Porter into a potential transcontinental carrier. But there are BIG challenges in store for Mr. Deluce and his team at Porter.
The CS100 needs 4,800 feet of runway at maximum take-off weight. As you might have read in AirlineReporter.com’s story on Porter Airlines, they are based at Toronto’s downtown Billy Bishop Toronto Island Airport (YTZ). The Q400 turboprops that Porter and Air Canada fly from YTZ operate efficiently and safely from the airport. I got my pilot’s license there in the early 1980s, and the longest runway at the airport is only 4,000 feet. With water at both ends.
BONUS: The First Bombardier CSeries Rolls Out of the Factory
Adding to the runway challenge is the ’œno jets’ restriction in place at the airport. Porter is likely going to face a huge battle with the various residents’ associations and the City of Toronto.
The CS100s may be as quiet as the Q400s, thanks to their new-tech Pratt & Whitney PW1500G geared turbofans. Mr. Deluce kept coming back to that point in his press conference yesterday. But nobody really knows, because the CS100 hasn’t yet flown.
I’m guessing that these are the reasons for the conditional order.
BONUS: Interior (mock up) Tour of the Bombardier CSeries in Montreal
So what does Mr. Deluce have up his sleeve? Will he operate the CS100s with less than 110 seats, limiting the take-off weight, so that the plane needs less runway? He says that he’s going to ask the City of Toronto to extend the main runway by 500 feet at both ends, but how many years will it take for the debate and decision, not to mention the construction? Or will he establish a new base for the CS100s at another airport? And what about the ’œno jets’ restriction at YTZ?
This is going to be very interesting! I’m sure that both Air Canada and Westjet are watching closely.
||This story written by… Howard Slutsken, Correspondent.Howard has been an AvGeek since he was a kid, watching TCA Super Connies, Viscounts and early jets at Montreal’s Dorval Airport. He’s a pilot, and gets away to fly gliders whenever he can. Howard is based in Vancouver, BC.