Flying CS100 over a noise-sensitive airport

Bombardier’s CS100 made its first visit to Toronto today and in the process overflew the City’s Billy Bishop Airport, which is located just off downtown in a noise-sensitive area.

The Bombardier CS100 overflies Toronto Billy Bishop Airport during its first visit to the City.

Porter Airlines, which is based at Billy Bishop, has a large conditional order for the CS100. The plan requires extending the runway at both ends and gaining governmental approval to operate commercial jets there. Right now only turbo-props are allowed for airline operations.

There is substantial opposition from the plan, including from rival Air Canada. For the public, it’s mostly about noise. For Air Canada, it’s the competitive advantage Porter would have operating out of close-in Bishop while AC is at the more distant Pearson Airport.

CS100 noise tests indicate it is quieter than the Bombardier Q400 Porter flies from Bishop. The CS100 overflights are obviously a demonstration of the noise profile of CS100 operations at Bishop.

34 Comments on “Flying CS100 over a noise-sensitive airport

  1. I hail from Pratt & Whitney Canada in the early seventies. We never envisaged that future aircraft engines would be as quiet as they are today, almost regardless of size (aircraft and engines). Noise is nowadays a political football which will someday disappear for good. Final comment: one airport criticising another harms all in the public eye.

      • Air Canada were FOR jets at Bishop before they were AGAINST.

        ““It would appear that Air Canada has reversed its position on jets at the airport given that they had indicated publicly, and in conversations and correspondence to PortsToronto, that they would indeed be interested in flying jets from Billy Bishop Airport,” ( CEO)Wilson said.”- Toronto Star.

  2. Nothing to do with common good, AC wants to limit or even better yet eliminate competition.

    Nothing new, typical of all business but of course when you do then the incentive is gone to be good.

    Its a shame as it benefits Canada in many ways. NIMBY

    • Just like Delta wanting to squash plans for another Atlanta airport. I also feel airports should be exempt from local government input which always is anti airport and it never ceases to amaze me how many move near an airport and complain about the noise.
      Airports are public facilities and are part of a huge air travel system that benefits not only passengers but provides a very large number of good paying jobs.

  3. As a Toronto resident (who is generally supportive of the Toronto Island airport), let me add some colour to this discussion by trying to explain the opposition I hear to jets/airport expansion.
    1. There is a group of people who are opposed to this airport period. The area around the airport has seen a lot of condo development – some residents love the convenience of the airport, others don’t think it belongs in what they see as a “residential” area (even though it was industrial and is mixed use). They want it gone and anything that makes the airport more permanent or more viable will be opposed – irrespective of any logic around “noise”.
    2. Because most people have not seen/heard an aircraft with the GTF, there is a perception that jets are noisy – whether or not this jet is.
    3. It’s not just about jets, its also about congestion in the neighbourhood. The airport is slot restricted (at popular times of day) and adding the CS100 means a potential 50% increase in traffic in the neighbourhood. The airport has very limited road access and even more limited parking. At some point there will be traffic congestion issues.
    4. In order to accommodate the CS100, the runway will need to be lengthened by ~500 metres. The runway currently runs the full width of the island, so the only way to increase runway length is to landfill. the lake is used by lots of boaters in the summer and there is concern that the longer runway (and exclusion zone beyond the end of the runway) will be a negative for sailors both in the harbour area and beyond.
    5. there is a bit of a left wing – right wing political divide with the left being strongly opposed on a host of “neighbourhood” and “environmental” concerns.

    In termns of Air Canada, their opposition is commercial. This has the potential to strengthen Porter as a viable competitor and presents a threat to their lucrative long distance routes within Canada – particularly for premium passengers from Toronto to Calgary and Vancouver. A lot of financial industry types who work downtown – close to this airport could be easily tempted to take their Business Class fares to Porter rather than deal with the trudge to/from Pearson. Without that Premium business, it becomes a race to the bottom for AC.

    • AC is opposed, but in the end it doesn’t matter so much, as it has no power to make decisions.

      Further, I really don’t think this would have a major impact on AC: with the limited slots and limited destinations Porter would have from Billy Bishop, combined with the lack of interline connectivity at the destinations, means that the amount of J bleed would ultimately be fairly small.

      • It doesn’t take much paying J bleed to start to impact AC – remember they effectively have ZERO J competition in Canada today and that is reflective in the prices they charge. Put a competitor on YTZ-YYC and the Bay Street types (who actually pay J fares) get a more convenient flight with J comfort. I think a bunch will switch.

  4. Is there any way a light (reduced fuel, little payload) CS100 could get a special exemption to perform demonstration landings and takeoff on the existing runway at Billy Bishop Airport?

    The runway is easily long enough for a light CS100.

    • Bombardier would first need special authorization to fly there as currently no jet aircraft are allowed to fly to, or from, Billy Bishop Airport.

  5. Does anyone think that whether or not the CS100 gets to land at this airport is really important to the future of the CS100? I mean, this aircraft just isn’t selling and, truth be told, the CS-Series program seems to be on a Death March. I believe the principal reason that the C-Series Program has been a failure is not because it isn’t a great plane – it is a great plane (in fact, I don’t think Boeing or Airbus could have done better): however, I think this Super-Efficient, Plastic-Fantastic aircraft costs too much to build. I mean, Carbon Fiber planes are nice – but Carbon Fiber is no Panacea. The Manufacturer Profitability and Ownership Direct Operating Cost benefits of Carbon Fiber do not appear to scale to smaller aircraft – at least no one has conclusively made the case yet. Witness that Boeing has pretty much quit adding the 787-8 to their backlog since 2010, and Mitsubishi did not even put a Carbon Fiber wing on its new Regional jet (I guess building the CFRP wings for the 787 smartened Mitsubishi up about the real benefits of plastic). So just because a Carbon Fiber Aircraft is a nice Aircraft, it still may not make economic sense – and I think this is what made the CSeries Program what it is today – a throbbing financial hemorrhoid on Bombardier’s Balance Sheet.

    • The CSeries has an aluminium fuselage and carbon fiber wings, just like the upcoming Boeing 777X.

      The carbon fiber wing is the key to both these aircraft efficiency.

      It seems early to declare that the CSeries program is a failure.

      • “It seems early to declare that the CSeries program is a failure.”

        With 603 orders before entry into service (EIS), including 243 firm, it is anything but a failure. It is true that a number of those orders are not very solid, even among the firm ones, but it is definitely not a failure. Especially if we compare this programme with similar programmes in history. The C Series main competitors, the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, had not sold as many aircraft at this stage. In that category only the Douglas DC-9 was more successful. Bombardier are making history with the C Series. And anything that makes history takes time. What we are witnessing today is David (BBD) taking on Goliath (A&B).

        • “The C Series main competitors, the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737, had not sold as many aircraft at this stage. In that category only the Douglas DC-9 was more successful. ”

          Uh…you do realize that it was Douglas’ ramp-up of the DC-9 that drove it into near Bankruptcy and caused Douglas to be bought out by McDonnell in 1967….right? Right!?

          That’s Right! Even though Douglas was flush with orders for the DC-9 they were on the rails to inevitable Bankruptcy. Or…how about the Lockheed L-1011: 250 produced and every one of them produced at a loss according to Lockheed’s former Chief Financial Officer James West ( But…the Lockheed L-1011 was a beloved plane – a technical marvel and a joy to fly.

          Or how about the 787 – $30 Billion in the hole and still sinking? But…the 787 is a technical marvel and Boeing has sold a lot of them!

          Or…how about the Airbus A350? Projected to break-even on a per-airframe basis no sooner than 2018!

          So…it appears that even though a company can create a great plane that passengers and pilots love – and whose technology makes the engineering crowd drool – and sell a lot of them, financial ruin can nevertheless result.

          • There was quite a queue to takeover the troubled Douglas ( but flush with orders) .

            “In 1967, six companies submitted takeover bids for Douglas: General Dynamics, North American Aviation (later Rockwell International), Martin Marietta, Signal Oil & Gas, Fairchild, and McDonnell Aircraft.”
            Reference for

          • There’s this tiny thing called the learning curve that applies to all aircraft manufacturing – over the life of the aircraft, the cost to produce goes down dramatically (and the selling price goes up) as the manufacturer learns to produce more efficiently and gains economies of scale. Hardly surprising that the first few hundred examples of any aircraft program are built at a loss (and an explanation of why the L-1011 was a financial failure – not enough orders). The A-350, 787 and most likely C-Series will all eventually be financial successes for their manufacturers even though they lost boatloads of cash at the front end.

          • I dont understand why with modern CAD/CAM techniques there is much ‘learning’ beyond the first 20 airframes. After building planes for over 30 years a lot of techniques have pretty standard construction times.
            Of course there is an ongoing process of automation, but this isnt ‘saved’ for a brand new airliner going down the line. ie the pictures recently of a A330 neo with an iso grid wing rib.
            Economies of scale do come into it, as machine tools and jigs are built for say 15 units per month, but intial sales may be 5 per month.

  6. “Does anyone think that whether or not the CS100 gets to land at this airport is really important to the future of the CS100?”

    I do. One reason being that Bombardier need more orders for the aircraft and Porter is a keen customer that would buy a great number of them if allowed to fly there. Another reason is that Porter is a Canadian company. It is important for an aircraft manufacturer to get an endorsement from the country where it is established. A great opportunity was lost for the Avro Jetliner when Trans-Canada Airlines cancelled their initial order.

    “I think this Super-Efficient, Plastic-Fantastic aircraft costs too much to build.”

    The C Series was designed to be relatively cheap to build. They have built modern and super efficient facilities to manufacture the wings and assemble the aircraft. The rest of the aircraft is outsourced around the world at very low rates. For example the fuselage is made in China and the composite empennage is manufactured in Italy. As for the wing it is built in-house (Belfast) in a brand new facility that was built with support from the UK government. And the aircraft main assembly hall has also been built with the support of the Québec government.

    “The Manufacturer Profitability and Ownership Direct Operating Cost benefits of Carbon Fiber do not appear to scale to smaller aircraft…”

    The CFRP wing and empannage, along with an Al-Li fuselage, make the C Series much lighter than any other competing aircraft in that category. Also, last June Bombardier announced that the C Series had beaten the specifications by a considerable margin. That was mainly due to the sophisticated wing design. With a conventional wing made out of aluminium they would not have been able to achieve such an efficient wing profile.

    “…the C-Series Program has been a failure…”.

    The C Series is anything but a failure. It is true that they have not sold an aircraft for almost a year now. But the main reason for this has to do with the fact that the competition will do everything they can (and they are very powerful) to block the C Series. Apparently they have been quite successful at that. And this is the main problem Bombardier are facing today. So Jimmy I think you are barking at the wrong tree.

    • Fuselage made in China !
      Have they sorted that out yet, it seemed to create an expensive headache as they couldn’t achieve certification with the methods and techniques used in China.
      More importantly, where are the Chinese orders, building a high tech product in China isnt that much of a costs saver these days, when you have to ship the final product half way round the world.
      have Bombardier been scammed by the Chinese over possible orders, much like Embraer were.

    • “The C Series is anything but a failure. It is true that they have not sold an aircraft for almost a year now. But the main reason for this has to do with the fact that the competition will do everything they can (and they are very powerful) to block the C Series.”

      No…I disagree. The C-Series is a failure: it is a dog…with fleas. As a result, it gets to join that long march of airliners that ended up as financial disasters: the Comet, the Convair 880, the L-1011, the A380, the 787 – just to name a few.

      And to blame the C-Series lack of interest on unscrupulous competition is just making excuses for this financial flop – this puss-filled wound on the Balance Sheet of the Bombardier Company. Yeah…this is what happens when you give children money and let them go off and build “The Plane of Tomorrow”.

  7. I think in the end the noise (or absence of noise) profile could make or break the C-series.

    I don’t understand why BBD does not do a larger campaign to promote the environmental friendliness of the C-series – this is both noise and fuel efficiency. What does an aircraft which generates less noise than most other aircraft mean in places like Sydney? Or cities in Germany with tightening curfews (e.g. Frankfurt)? Look at SAS – their inflight magazine clearly lists the fuel efficiency of every aircraft in their fleet – they would be a perfect customer for the CS100 (if their overall financial status was not as rocky as it is). Being green and considerate is very important in Scandinavia.

    You could almost end up with a winnable legal case in the European courts that airport curfews are discriminatory as newer aircraft produce less noise than other activities (Trucks, Lamborghinis and Motorbikes 😉

    I personally believe that noise footprints are going to play a much bigger role in the future – especially in Europe and Australia.

    Maybe Swiss is the perfect launch customer to provide the required facts to show that the C-series makes your local airport a better neighbour.

    • Generally the noise restrictions are at night, not many short haul aircraft fly then. Much more common is restricted flight profiles over residential areas which will benefit CS series and to lesser extent all newer widebodys

      • Given the range the planes have, being able to operate a rotation at night to a tourist destination (comon practice in Europe, at airports without or less restrictive curfews) could create additional revenue to an airline. Also it would enable feeder traffic to depart late and arrive early on airports like FRA (or Berlin, which is roughly an hour flight time closer to most of Asia)

        • Tourist destinations from Canada would be Hawaii, Caribbean or maybe las Vegas. They dont have the short haul routes to the med and North Africa like Europe.

    • “I don’t understand why BBD does not do a larger campaign to promote the environmental friendliness of the C-series – this is both noise and fuel efficiency.”

      That’s because BBD’s marketing department is a joke. On their webpage they put something new about once a month if we are lucky. And they think that promoting an aircraft means attending Paris and Farnborough every other year. The problem is that they rely on the aircraft’s capabilities to promote the aircraft. They look and act like amateurs. And I am just talking about their marketing department. As for their public relations department it has been obliterated when Bombardier Aerospace was dismantled in July 2014.

      • I know of only one individual who can brilliantly do sales, marketing and PR in one fell swoop: John Leahy of Airbus, a true American. What has always amazed me about Airbus is that from the start talent and expertise typical of what the French, Germans, British and Americans were respectively best at have been brought into play to make the company the astounding success it is today.

  8. I remember an interview with the president of Delta, Anderson, who said that currently his biggest challenge in the aircraft purchase was planning to cope with environmental regulations…

  9. What, is the CS a lot more quiet than the A320neo GTF? Maybe Chicago needs a new airport built on fill in the lake for the new quiet GTF engine jets.

  10. There is a fresh rumour that Air Canada is about to sign an agreement with Bombardier to acquire 25 CS100 plus options for some CS300. The C Series would replace the Embraer E-190 which would go to Air Canada Rouge.

    • AC is sending about half of their E-190’s to Boeing as part of the 737MAX deal. I don’t see them sending the remaining E-190’s to Rouge as Rouge is limited to 50 aircraft by pilot agreements. I think they’ll want to stick with larger 319’s and 767’s. But I do expect AC to eventually get rid of remaining E-190’s and order CS to fill the gap between Q400 and 727/A320.

      • “AC is sending about half of their E-190’s to Boeing as part of the 737MAX deal.”

        Perhaps Bombardier will do the same thing as Boeing with the remaining E-190s. The new team in place (Bellemare/Cromer/Bole) might view things differently than their predecessors and may therefore act in a different way than we have come to expect.

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