Release date: 
14 April 1998 :00am
Paul Benoit says the master plan process is still receiving public input

Ottawa -- In a Newsmakers Breakfast speech earlier this morning, Ottawa International Airport President and CEO Paul Benoit stated that the master plan process to determine the development of the airport is still underway. He was on hand at the National Press Club to encourage the public and media to attend the last in a series of Open Houses tomorrow at which the public can review the options for airport expansion and development of air services.

Benoit's speech made it clear that the plans for the airport development is not a fait accompli. "Contrary to what you may have read or heard, this master plan consultative process is far from over. The consultants are still gathering information and the Board of Directors has not seen a final report." Benoit added, "Any decision on moving ahead will require Board consideration and Board approval first."

The Master Plan Open House and Public Meeting is being held Wednesday at the RA Centre on Riverside Drive. The open house is in the afternoon from 4 to 6:30 pm, followed by a public meeting from 7 to 9 pm.

Paul Benoit stated the meetings have been important for providing the public with the options for expansion of the air terminal building and development of the airport lands. "We have been receiving the public's feedback and the comments and suggestions are being reviewed by our master plan consulting firms -- MaxGroup and Landrum & Brown -- for inclusion in their final report. This report will be presented and considered by the Airport Authority's Board of Directors later this spring."

In his speech, Benoit reiterated the need for new airport facilities. "It is a reality that Ottawa International needs to develop its current facility and address the inadequacies of our aging air terminal building. We need to make decisions about a terminal building that is barely meeting the needs of our customers during peak traffic periods."

"Today, the airport facilities are bursting at the seams. We serve approximately 3 million travellers per year. In 2020, the conservative projections for Ottawa International's passenger volumes will be close to 5.8 million -- almost double the number of travellers through our airport facilities."