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Release date: 
12 June 2013 :00am

The Ottawa International Airport Authority has set the stage to become the first major airport in Canada to groove its runways.

During the summer of 2012, Runway 07/25, the airport’s 8,000 foot runway was completely reconstructed, including resurfacing, realignment of the runway crown, installation of new runway edge lighting, replacement of electrical wiring and NavCanada’s Instrument Landing System (ILS), and the creation of new Runway End Safety Areas (RESAs). Prior to the runway reconstruction, the runway met Transport Canada’s standards, and these changes brought the runway’s standards in line with both the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the United States Federal Aviation Authority (FAA). The Airport Authority is now proceeding with the final element of this phase and will groove the runway. Earlier today, the Airport Authority issued a request for proposal to engage a firm that will complete the grooving.

Grooving is a proven and effective technique for improving drainage and providing increased friction. It involves saw cuts in the asphalt that are 6 mm deep by 6 mm wide and 38 mm apart, perpendicular to the runway centerline and over the entire length of the runway. Grooving is common practice in the United States however it has not been adopted at major airports in Canada, nor is it a requirement of Transport Canada, the airport’s regulator.

“The Ottawa Airport Authority is continuing its leadership and commitment to providing our passengers and crews with the safest possible environment”, said Mark Laroche, Airport Authority President and CEO. He continued “Grooving, which will be done to FAA standards, has received the support and praise of the major domestic airlines that serve Ottawa as well as their chief pilots. We are proud to be the first major airport in Canada to groove its runways.”

Runway reconstruction is a multi-phased project that commenced in 2011, when Runway 04/22, the runway that serves general aviation was resurfaced. The final phase, which will reconstruct Runway 14/32, the airport’s 10,000 foot landing strip, is scheduled to occur in 2014 and will also include RESAs and grooving.

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies under an
80-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada. The OMCIAA’s mandate is to manage, operate and develop airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region.