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  #1  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 2:51 AM
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Hamilton Harbour to Toronto Island Passenger Service

New air service plans regular flights from Hamilton Harbour to Toronto Island

Hamilton Spectator By Carmela Fragomeni, WED, OCT 29, 2014

A new venture calling itself Hamilton Harbour Airways hopes to provide regular flights from a local yacht club to the Toronto Islands airport next year, pending Transport Canada approvals.

Co-owner Dimitri Aidonis of Dundas said the company submitted a commercial air service statement of intent to operate the business and outlined its plans to Transport Canada about four or five months ago.

Aidonis tweeted under the handle @flyhha on Oct. 6 that the airline would fly from the harbour to Toronto Island airport in 15 minutes in a "Cessna 208 Airvan" starting in 2015.

The aircraft is a single-engine turboprop, which would be equipped with floats for landing and taking off from the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club.

But in a phone interview, Aidonis said "we are still debating the type of aircraft."

Aidonis said it could take up to a year for Transport Canada to give the go-ahead. However, he is confident the one-craft service will take flight and hopes it can start in late summer 2015.

"All of this takes time."

He said the plan is to offer regularly scheduled flights from the harbour to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, along with providing personal and business charters to Muskoka.

However, there is a cap on the number of flights into Toronto Island, so he hopes to run chartered flights until he can get his planned air service off the ground.

Transport Canada, asked last week if it had any record of Hamilton Harbour Airways, said it had "no certificate holders operating this type of service in the Hamilton area."

On Wednesday, a spokesperson said Transport Canada could not confirm it had a statement of intent because it needs a company's permission to release such information.

Michael Temperley, general manager of the Royal Hamilton Yacht Club, confirmed that the club and Aidonis have met a number of times to discuss running Hamilton Harbour Airways out of the yacht club.

"They needed a full service restaurant-bar and an indoor facility for baggage and ticket handling," he said.

"We'd like to see this thing take off," he added. "We definitely have the space. We definitely have the parking and we have dock space."

Temperley said such a service would provide more business for the yacht club and a niche service for Hamilton.

"To get to the island airport in 11 minutes will be attractive. From what they say, it sounds like a viable option — and there are benefits to us as well. The club will figure prominently."

cfragomeni@thespec.com

http://www.thespec.com/news-story/49...oronto-island/
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  #2  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 3:53 AM
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Darn it, I was hoping for a ferry.
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  #3  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 12:02 PM
HillStreetBlues HillStreetBlues is offline
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Darn it, I was hoping for a ferry.
Yes, I came to this thread pretty excited about ferry service!

You’ll get a lot of opposition to this idea, and probably for good reason. Remember the bitter battle over Toronto island airport (reignited last year by a plan to extend the runway). I’m not sure commercial service, regardless of the size of plane and infrequency of service, belongs in a spot like this.

They have not chosen the type of plane, and the investments (restaurant, ticketing desks, luggage handling) sound like they could be a lot for the yacht club. I’d also question the demand. But it’s interesting.
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 1:21 PM
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I can't see this being profitable.

It takes 30 mins alone to get to the yacht club from stoney creek and grimsby. By that time they could just stay on the highway and be in Oakville, half way to their destination of downtown Toronto.

Not to mention the time it takes to get their luggage and the fact they land on an ISLAND. They'll have to walk at least 15 minutes through the underground tunnel to the mainland. Then wait for a cab or public transportation. Then to get home they have to do it all over again? If you drive you can park right at your destination. I've gone from Stoney Creek to Downtown Toronto in 35 minutes numerous times without traffic. If you take the Go train you get off at Union Station where there is subway, cab, street car connections vs an island with no connections.

Once the James St station opens you'll have the option of taking an hour train ride for 10 bucks to the heart of the city with multiple public transportatoin connections at Union. Or paying god knows how much for this 12 minute flight to an island where its going to take an extra 30 minutes at least each way to prep for departure and claim your baggage at arrival and walk to the mainland.

Im not buying it.
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 4:07 PM
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It would be wonderful if we ever get a ferry service from the Lake Ontario side (Confederation Park area) to Toronto.

We should have gotten Rochester's ferry boat when it ceased operations (cross border issue didn't help the ferry).
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  #6  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 4:23 PM
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I really don't see much point to this when you've got so many other options to get to Toronto. I'm predicting an early flop, if it even gets off the ground at all.
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  #7  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 4:41 PM
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Wouldn't you need to amend the zoning to allow an airport? The land is City owned not Hamilton Port Authority.

I doubt council would approve the zoning change.
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  #8  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 5:25 PM
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Wouldn't you need to amend the zoning to allow an airport? The land is City owned not Hamilton Port Authority.

I doubt council would approve the zoning change.
The article referred to the proposed flight to be done using a plane with floats attached (pontoon-style I would imagine). I think he intends to land on the harbour and dock at the yacht club, much like the planes that fly up to cottage country or the far north.
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  #9  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 8:32 PM
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Originally Posted by king10 View Post
I can't see this being profitable.

It takes 30 mins alone to get to the yacht club from stoney creek and grimsby. By that time they could just stay on the highway and be in Oakville, half way to their destination of downtown Toronto.

Not to mention the time it takes to get their luggage and the fact they land on an ISLAND. They'll have to walk at least 15 minutes through the underground tunnel to the mainland. Then wait for a cab or public transportation. Then to get home they have to do it all over again? If you drive you can park right at your destination. I've gone from Stoney Creek to Downtown Toronto in 35 minutes numerous times without traffic. If you take the Go train you get off at Union Station where there is subway, cab, street car connections vs an island with no connections.

Once the James St station opens you'll have the option of taking an hour train ride for 10 bucks to the heart of the city with multiple public transportatoin connections at Union. Or paying god knows how much for this 12 minute flight to an island where its going to take an extra 30 minutes at least each way to prep for departure and claim your baggage at arrival and walk to the mainland.

Im not buying it.
I figure they're landing at Toronto airport so people can connect to other flights, not for people whose final destination is Toronto.

Also, 35 minutes from Stoney Creek to TO? Were you averaging 160km/h?
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Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 9:28 PM
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The best time I have ever made it to downtown TO is 45 mins around 4 am from west-end of Hamilton by the 403. During the day it can take up to 2 hours to get there. I was there about a month ago after 6 pm and it cost me $35 to park for 3 hours. My wife goes there about once every 2 months. It is about a 2 hours one-way with GO. She would be about 15 minutes from the RHYC. If your going for a meeting then you would not have any luggage.
Taking Porter is a pain from the Island Airport. Long drive and expensive parking. Or you can take the GO. Walk what seems forever. Wait for the shuttle bus. Take the tunnel (better than waiting for the ferry ride). Then check in. This maybe if not quicker, easier. If they would get code sharing or at least check in for porter, this would make it even better.
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  #11  
Old Posted Oct 30, 2014, 11:51 PM
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I dunno. When I read this the first thing I thought of was Vancouver. Anybody who's ever taken a Seaplane out of Vancouver Harbour is, at the very least, quite curious about this proposition.
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  #12  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2014, 1:52 AM
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The plane seats 9 to 14 passengers, I think it'll be a great service if the price is right.

I'm guessing service will be limited to warm months, it'll be nice seeing a plane landing near the harbourfrant park once in a while
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  #13  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2014, 2:17 AM
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Originally Posted by mattgrande View Post
I figure they're landing at Toronto airport so people can connect to other flights, not for people whose final destination is Toronto.

Also, 35 minutes from Stoney Creek to TO? Were you averaging 160km/h?
135km/h. on cruise control. usually sunday nights at midnight. Im living and working in Oshawa for a few months so I make the trip to and back from Hamilton several times a month. can make it to the 427 from grays rd in 30 minuntes.

but back on topic. so they're going to connect to to flights from the island airport and then when they fly back take another boat plane back to hamilton harbour?

im not seeing the economical business plan in that. how many trips will this thing need to make a day to be economical. are there even enough people from the Hamilton area who would fill this plane up multiple times a day. most Hamiltonians fly out of Pearson, Buffalo and Hamilton. Billy Bishop is a distant 4th on that list.

Not to mention the bi laws that would need to be passed. Residents are already complaining about the noise at Sarcoa, now they're going to have a loud plane flying in and out daily. And they want to build condos at pier 5 to 7. I wouldn't want a plane flying around daily.

Anyways, Put me in the corner that says this operation doesn't even get off the ground. I'll eat my words if i'm wrong.
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  #14  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2014, 6:46 AM
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Originally Posted by LikeHamilton View Post
The best time I have ever made it to downtown TO is 45 mins around 4 am from west-end of Hamilton by the 403. During the day it can take up to 2 hours to get there. I was there about a month ago after 6 pm and it cost me $35 to park for 3 hours. My wife goes there about once every 2 months. It is about a 2 hours one-way with GO. She would be about 15 minutes from the RHYC. If your going for a meeting then you would not have any luggage.
Taking Porter is a pain from the Island Airport. Long drive and expensive parking. Or you can take the GO. Walk what seems forever. Wait for the shuttle bus. Take the tunnel (better than waiting for the ferry ride). Then check in. This maybe if not quicker, easier. If they would get code sharing or at least check in for porter, this would make it even better.
I have to disagree. I've flown Porter a few times and found it very convenient compared to Pearson (and I've connected via GO train and the shuttle).

2 hours by GO? Does your wife take the GO bus? I thought the train was about 1:10 to 1:15 from Hunter. And the shuttle stops are not very far from Union Station... construction has likely affected that, but to my recollection they were still basically across the street along the York St. side of the Royal York Hotel.

That aside, I really don't see an economic case for this new service. I too think it's more of a connecting link to Porter's air services than a commuter option into downtown. Unless there are some regular fliers who would not mind paying a premium to save a bit of time on a connecting flight, I don't know how feasible this idea is.
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  #15  
Old Posted Oct 31, 2014, 2:17 PM
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Re Noise

People will probably raise holy hell about this proposition for that reason alone. From my experience in Vancouver, they are a bit noisy and a little stinky but the entertainment factor of watching them come and go more than makes up for it.
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