Tuesday,  June 25, 2019  8:32 am

New lounge takes flight at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport

New lounge takes flight at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport
Blake Wolfe

Blake Wolfe is an award-winning journalist and editor, who joined PAX after nearly 10 years in Canada’s newspaper industry. In addition to PAX, his work has been featured in publications such as the Metroland Media group of newspapers and the Toronto Sun.

New dining options, an expanded business centre and an increased number of power outlets are ready to welcome travellers passing through the new passenger lounge at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, officially unveiled this week.

The airport welcomed dignitaries from the city of Toronto and province of Ontario, as well as representatives from Air Canada and Porter Airlines, the two carriers that operate at the facility. The official unveiling of the lounge takes place just weeks after the airport announced the completion of its airfield rehabilitation program, a multi-million dollar project three years in the making.

READ MORE: BBTCA expansion plans approved

The terminal, originally owned by Porter, was purchased in 2015 by Nieuport Aviation; according to Nieuport, the airport sees more than 2.8 million leisure and business travellers each year.

“When you look at the history and where we’ve come from, it’s amazing to see such innovation and creativity at this airport,” said Greg Smith, CEO of InstarAGF, a partner of Nieuport Aviation. “We are proud to further invest in Billy Bishop as a transportation hub and a significant growth driver for the city of Toronto.”

Robert Deluce, president and CEO of Porter Airlines, added "We're finding that passengers who have been to the airport since the renovations finished and new stores and restaurants opened really appreciate the improvements. Seeing it in person helps you understand just how much more space there is and the services available. It's a significantly improved overall experience for everyone."

What’s new?

The terminal upgrade, which has added 12,000 extra sq. ft. of space, includes the following enhancements:

  • Expanded lounge and business area for added comfort;
  • Extra power outlets for charging phones and tablets;
  • Three new eateries: OBISPO, a tapas restaurant; Balzac’s Coffee Roasters; and Market@416, featuring locally-inspired food and beverage options, including Ontario craft beer;
  • New retail options including Toronto Island Market, offering convenience food and items; and a new duty-free store;
  • Water bottle refilling station.

“We’re delivering on what passengers have been looking for – selection and choice,” Smith said.

What’s next?

According to Smith, following the upgrade of the airfield and lounge, the next project on the books for the passenger terminal is the construction of two additional gates, “which improve operational flexibility, particularly during peak heavy-demand traffic times,” along with the construction of the new U.S. pre-clearance facility.

“We’re proud of what we have accomplished together,” Smith said, thanking the project’s partners and BBTCA passengers. “A more spacious and comfortable terminal which showcases Toronto’s uniqueness and confirms Billy Bishop’s enduring place as one of the world’s best regional airports.”

Check out the new lounge below: