TORONTO: Past weekend porter Airline planes landed at two likely Airports. One of the Canadian airline’s Bombardier Q400s landed at the Williamsport Regional Airport, giving the tiny airport in north-central Pennsylvania a rare international arrival. The plane was flying from Toronto’s Billy Bishop Airport to Washington but diverted to Williamsport when smoke was detected in the cockpit.
Though the flight landed without incident, the 66 passengers on the international flight were quarantined in a building away from the terminal in Williamsport, which does not have a customs facility to process passengers arriving from foreign destinations. Unlike most big-city airports in Canada, Billy Bishop airport does not have a “pre-clearance” operation that lets fliers clear customs north of the border.
Porter sent another aircraft to ferry passengers the rest of the way to Washington Dulles, according to the CBC. Customs and Border Protection officers were flown in from Philadelphia to screen the passengers, who were required to go through customs before boarding the new aircraft.
The sighting of Porter aircraft is an unusual occurrence for Williamsport, which is served only by one commercial passenger airline. US Airways offers a few daily US Airways Express flights between Williamsport and the US Airways’ hub in Philadelphia.
Toronto’s close-to-downtown Billy Bishop Airport is Porter’s main base, located on an island just a short distance from Toronto’s financial district. Pearson is the city’s main international airport – and home to Air Canada’s busiest hub. Air Canada was among those to most-bitterly object to Porter’s plans to begin flying from then-little used Billy Bishop in 2006.
Today, Porter operates a fleet of about two-dozen Q400 turboprops but does not fly any regularly scheduled flights from Pearson. The airline offers either year-round or seasonal service to about 20 destinations in the U.S. and Canada.