Ottawa Airport Receives Good Marks from Community - Widespread misconceptions found about Airport management and revenue sources

Release date: 
22 March 2000 :00am
Ottawa - A Decima Research survey commissioned by the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority (OMCIAA) has given the Airport good marks for facilities and service. 77% of respondents to the "Airport Image and Community Awareness Survey" rated the overall quality of Ottawa International Airport as "good" or "very good." However, 88% of those asked were confused about the Authority's status as an independent corporation and 81% mistakenly believed that the Airport receives some or all of its operating revenue from government. In fact, the Airport Authority is completely self-sufficient and does not receive any government funding.

Paul Benoit, President and CEO of Ottawa International Airport, said, "No matter whether we talk to people in the high tech industry, the business sector serving government or the travelling public, the answer that comes through loud and clear is that Ottawa International Airport is a key part of this community, especially as a catalyst for economic growth in the National Capital Region."

"This survey is a testament to the dedication and foresight of the Authority's Board of Directors and staff. We will use these findings to sharpen the focus of our long-term business planning and as a benchmark to guide our communications, marketing and community relations programs," added Mr. Benoit.

Survey highlights:

-98% of those surveyed had been to the Airport; 74% of respondents had been to the Airport at least once in the preceding two years, 60% of whom had flown from the Airport in the past 24 months

-95% agreed that Ottawa International Airport is an "important part of the economic structure"; 94% agreed that the Airport must grow in synch with the community it aims to serve

-39% rated the overall quality of Ottawa International Airport as "good," 38% rated it "very good" and a further 6% said it was "excellent"

-73% ranked the Airport as "very" to "extremely" important to the community in terms of economic development, tourism and the Region's status as the nation's capital

-Only 12.5% of the community is aware that the Airport Authority operates Ottawa International Airport

-81% were under the misconception that the Airport Authority receives federal, provincial or municipal subsidies

-14% of those surveyed believed the Airport Authority does not pay taxes

-71% of those asked said they would like to know more about the Airport

More than 500 residents of the National Capital Region participated in the December 1999 survey. Survey results are accurate to within 4.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

OMCIAA operates Ottawa International Airport under a 60-year lease transfer agreement with Transport Canada with a mandate to manage, operate and develop Airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region. The current terminal and its access roads were last expanded in 1987 to handle 2.5 million passengers per year. Fuelled by the growth of the Region's high tech and tourism sectors, 1999 passenger traffic exceeded 3.2 million and continues to climb at over 3% annually. The Authority operates with annual revenues totalling $33.5 million generated exclusively through landing fees, facility leases and commercial operations.

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For additional information, please contact:
Laurent Benoit, (613) 248-2050
Director of Communications and Public Affairs