Busiest Holiday Season Ever at Ottawa Airport: Arrive early, do not wrap your onboard gifts
Ottawa Airport expects its busiest Holiday Season ever this year with, weather permitting, more customers flying in and out then any previous years on record.
President and CEO Paul Benoit said: "The year 2000 will prove the busiest year ever at Ottawa Airport, and certainly this includes our busiest Holiday Season ever. In our region, the air travel industry is healthier than ever before, with a renewed, more efficient dominant carrier and many new entrants that are stimulating the market."
"We are expecting the biggest Holiday rush ever, and are pleased to report that our partners have informed us of their plans to staff counters and security check points accordingly. Still, with an unprecedented volume of passengers expected, travellers should arrive a little earlier than usual. Travellers should plan for 75 to 90 minutes instead of the usual one hour."
Yan Proulx, Operations Manager, Eastern Canada for Aeroguard, the company responsible for passengers' screening at Ottawa Airport, said: "Every year, wrapped gifts cause extensive delays in passengers' screening at all Canadian airports. Travellers are reminded that wrapped gifts will likely need to be unwrapped at the security checkpoint and to please avoid wrapping any gifts they plan to take onboard with them. It is a question of security."
(Note to members of the media: As per standard policy, media access to the security checkpoint area is prohibited. Media may photograph or film the line-ups leading to the security area and the gift-wrapping kiosk, when in operations.)
As in years past, Ottawa Airport volunteers (Infoguide) and employees will offer passengers a free post-security gift wrapping service during peak travel periods from Dec. 20-24, courtesy of Ottawa Airport merchants association and Ottawa Airport Authority. Donations will be accepted for the SnowSuit Fund.
Over 5 million people use Ottawa Airport each year, including approximately 3.4 million passengers in 2000. Ottawa Airport Authority operates the 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. Ottawa Airport will break ground on a $300 million, privately-funded Expansion in the Spring of 2001.
Laurent Benoit, (613) 248-2050
Director of Communications and Public Affairs