Release date: 
2 October 2003 :00am
October 3, 2003 (Ottawa) – After six years of rigorous planning, the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority (OMCIAA) today unveiled its new world-class passenger terminal building (PTB) to local media and members of the Ottawa business community.

“The new terminal is everything we hoped it would be and more,” said Paul Benoit, chief executive officer of the OMCIAA. “We can’t wait to let travellers experience it for themselves starting October 12.”

Designed with the ease and comfort of the traveller in mind, the new terminal offers travellers separate arrival and departure areas, a four-level parking structure, climate-controlled covered walkways, natural lighting, self-serve check-in kiosks, clear sightlines, 14 new gates and better baggage facilities.

While the structural steel creates a feeling of an airport hanger, the design focuses on creating a calm and easy travelling experience accented by a regional theme. A soothing water feature representing the meeting of the region’s three rivers runs throughout the terminal. Copper and limestone finishes are visible throughout, representative of the capital’s Parliament Buildings. Other Canadian features include an Inukshuk commissioned and sponsored by First Air and a rare traditional birch bark canoe built by the master craftsman and Algonquin leader who created an identical one for the late Prime Minister Pierre Elliott Trudeau.

In addition to its current offerings, the new terminal welcomes more concessions including Italian eatery Sbarro’s, Senate Chambers restaurant and Byward Taps bar. Travellers can purchase music at a new Virgin Records store, buy milk and bread at the Bytown Marché or conduct business at the Rideau Business Centre.

“The new terminal is a world-class model of customer convenience,“ said Mr. Benoit. “The state-of-the-art facility is the national capital’s gateway to and from the world.”

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies under a 60-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. Its 40-year old terminal building was last expanded in 1987. Since that time, passenger traffic has increased, necessitating the Airport’s current expansion project.

For more information on the new PTB, , visit our Web site at at


Krista Kealey
Ottawa Airport Authority
(613) 248-2050