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Release date: 
1 February 2012 :00am

The Ottawa International Airport Authority marks its 15th anniversary as an Airport Authority today.

On February 1st, 1997, the federal government transferred responsibility for the operation and development of the Ottawa International Airport to a community-based Board of Directors and the Airport Authority team. The transfer was managed under the terms of a 60-year lease with Transport Canada.

Over the course of 15 years, the Airport Authority has invested more than $500 million in infrastructure, completing all projects on time and on budget. The following list represents some of the major infrastructure projects that have been planned and/or accomplished to date – all without any form of government funding:



Year Completed
U.S. Preclearance $3.4 million 1997
Hendrick Building/Central Deicing Facility $7 million 2000
Passenger Terminal Building $310 million 2003
Phase II Passenger Terminal Building $95 million 2008
Parking Expansion(s) $60 million 2004/2005/2010
Field Electrical Centre/Runway Lighting $4 million 2010
Snow Removal Equipment/Fire Trucks $11 million 2010
Runway Rehabilitation: 04/22 07/25 14/32 $17 million 2011/2012/2013

Since 1997, the market has grown from just over 3.1 million passengers to more than 4.6 million (increase of 49%) in 2011, and commercial aircraft movements have jumped from 77,000 to nearly 91,000 in the same timeframe (increase of 18%). These increases confirm the strength of the market in Ottawa-Gatineau and continue to make this airport an attractive option for carriers.

From an economic impact perspective, the airport has gone from injecting $240 million per year into the local economy at transfer to an astounding $2.2 billion in 2011. It goes without saying that this airport makes a difference to the financial wellbeing of this community.

Raymond Brunet, Chairman of the Airport Authority’s Board of Directors acknowledged the strong partnership between the airport and the community when he said “Airports rely on the support of surrounding communities if they are to grow and prosper. We are fortunate to have received overwhelming support from ours, and for that we are extremely thankful”.

Paul Benoit, Airport Authority President and CEO added his thanks to the Authority’s employees saying “we have the best airport team in the country – they have dedicated themselves to the success of the airport, to providing excellent service to our passengers and visitors and to ensuring that we have world class airport facilities”.

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.