Release date: 
4 September 2003 :00am
September 4, 2003 (Ottawa) – The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority (OMCIAA) will open its new terminal to travellers on October 12, 2003, six months early, on budget and without the help of government subsidies.

The $310-million terminal was paid for by travellers via an airport improvement fee administered over the last four years. The expansion will provide relief for the current 40-year old terminal which is operating well over capacity.

“Over the last 40 years, the National Capital Region has grown and changed dramatically, but despite some cosmetic changes 16 years ago, the airport has largely remained the same,” said Paul Benoit, chief executive officer of the OMCIAA.

Responding to the need to accommodate a growing number of travellers and a growing region, the new terminal is part of a flexible three-phase airport upgrade to be completed when passenger traffic warrants further expansion.

“A world-class terminal, such as this one, is a critical component of a strong community infrastructure,” said Benoit. “This new terminal responds to the community’s needs and will help to give our city an additional economic boost.”

With the airport already bringing more than $1 billion of economic activity to the region each year, the new terminal will be fundamental in attracting more business, more travellers and more airlines.

Key dates:
September 27: The OMCIAA, tenants and government agencies begin to move into the new terminal building

October 3: The OMCIAA will host terminal tours for the media and community business leaders

October 5-7: Terminal lockdown and security sweep

October 12: First day of operations. First flight will take off at 6:15 a.m.

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport without government subsidies 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.

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


Krista Kealey
Ottawa Airport Authority
(613) 248-2050