2000 A Banner Year for Ottawa Airport - Passenger traffic climbs 7%
Ottawa - Ottawa International Airport Authority (OMCIAA) President and CEO Paul Benoit says 2000 was a "breakthrough year" for Ottawa International Airport. Fuelled by the growth of the region's high tech and advanced technology, tourism, and business-to-government sectors, overall air passenger traffic climbed 7% to 3,434,345 in 2000.
"In all aspects, 2000 was a banner year with more passengers, more destinations and more services for the people and businesses we serve," said Mr. Benoit. "The exponential growth in passenger volumes and the new airlines are adding pressure on the existing facilities. That we have succeeded in serving so many people with a terminal and ground services that are operating at some 700,000 passengers over capacity is a tribute to all of those who work at the Airport."
For its fourth straight year, the Airport Authority operated at record capacity. While domestic passenger traffic increased 5.6% to 2,562,282 (1999: 2,426,288), the highest growth was in the Airport's transborder (Canada-U.S.) which climbed 14.5% to 719,200 (1999: 628,203).
In 1999, passenger traffic grew 3.25%. The 2000 growth rate amounted to more than double that of 1999. In total, there were 78,300 takeoffs and landings at Ottawa International last year. For the first time in the Airport's history, passengers enjoyed a choice of 26 direct destinations in 2000.
"In many respects, 2000 was a watershed year for Ottawa International," said Mr. Benoit. "More people parked, more cars were rented, more luggage carts were used and, more newspapers were read than ever before. Our growth is seemingly limited only by the existing terminal and other infrastructure."
"The merger of Canadian Airlines and Air Canada caused a brief respite in terms of the number of flights into and out of Ottawa. However, the number of passengers continues to climb. That means domestic flights will be fuller and the strain on the existing terminal will continue as new entrants, such as WestJet and CanJet, continue to add pressure," concluded Mr. Paul Benoit.
OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without tax dollars under a 60-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada. The Authority's mandate is to manage, operate and develop Airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region. Its 40-year old terminal building was last expanded in 1987. Since that time, passenger traffic has increased over 40%.
As stipulated in the Airport's bylaws, the Authority's 2000 financial statement will be released at the Annual General Meeting to be held on May 9, 2001 at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa.
For additional information, please contact:
Laurent Benoit, (613) 248-2050
Director of Communications and Public Affairs