01/27/2014 08:52 EST | Updated 03/29/2014 05:59 EDT

Hundreds attend public meeting on Toronto Island airport expansion

TORONTO - Hundreds packed a public meeting Monday night at Toronto city hall to discuss Porter Airlines' request to expand runways and fly jets at Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.

City staff, Transport Canada and the Toronto Port Authority made short presentations of what they are reviewing while members of the public asked questions.

Public concerns were focused around implications to noise, convenience and possible environmental implications of the proposed changes.

Toronto's executive committee was expected to vote on the proposal on Feb. 4 before it is presented to city council, but they have asked for a deferral until March.

Porter has already signed a conditional deal with Bombardier to buy up to 30 CS100 jets based on the city's approval of an expansion.

The east-west runway would need to be extended 200 metres at each end to accommodate the jets.

Staff recommendations are that the request is still premature pending finalization of the regulatory and technical approvals for runways and insufficient information on flight test data for the jet aircraft.

Toronto Port Authority is seeking up to $100 million in federal funding for infrastructure improvements related to airport access, a runway extension and a proposed use of Bombardier C-series jets.

Toronto Port Authority president and CEO Geoffrey Wilson admitted they are dealing with a very a complex set of issues.

"If we are going to have this airport succeed we're going to make it the very best it can be," said Wilson. "We don't aspire to be a mini-Pearson on the lake."