Banner image - Inukshuk

To the news conference announcing the expansion of Ottawa Airport - Paul Benoit - October 26, 2000

Speaking Notes for
Presentation by
Paul Benoit, President and CEO
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority

To the news conference announcing the expansion of Ottawa Airport
Held on October 26, 2000
At the Ottawa Airport, Gloucester, Ontario

Please check against delivery

Thank you Regis, Good Afternoon

On my behalf, on behalf of the Authority employees, of our 3.4 million customers, and of the millions more who will benefit from today's announcement, I wish to thank all Members of the Board for their decision which ensures a future for Ottawa Airport and this region.

Today, this airport announces a new route. (pause) A route operated by the airport, a route for carriers as well as passengers. A route for the community. A business route.

Aujourd'hui, l'Aéroport annonce un projet d'expansion. (pause) Nous dévoilons des maquettes. Aujourd'hui, nous soulignons une étape importante. Mais plus que tout, aujourd'hui, nous soulignons que notre travail vient de commencer. Nous avons encore beaucoup à faire.

Comme vous pouvez le constater, le projet est encore au stage de projet. 38 mois de construction avant l'inauguration du nouvel aéroport, c'est long. Nous tenons à assurer tous nos clients que nous continueront à bien vous servir, durant les prochains 38 mois.

In 38 months, the new terminal's inauguration. And 40 months ago, the Airport was transferred to the Authority. In these 40 months, the Airport has benefited from the thriving economy of its Region. Every year we serve more customers. Every year we generate enough surpluses to improve the airport.

In fact, we have spent $20 million to improve the airport since the transfer. Our customers obviously like it; they keep coming back.

J'aimerais souligner l'absence totale de fonds gouvernementaux. L'Aéroport ne reçoit aucune subvention des gouvernements.

Nous ne sommes plus une jeune compagnie : bientôt quatre ans d'opérations. Les rénovations graduelles nous ont permis d'améliorer le service aux clients, même si le nombre de clients augmentent continuellement.

The community needs to be served.

Last spring, we identified three issues that could affect the Airport Expansion. They were Airline restructuring, PILT and Rent.

L'Aéroport d'Ottawa est sorti gagnant de la restructuration aérienne. Nous servons plus de passagers et plus de compagnies aériennes que jamais.

PILT. We are now confident that a negotiated solution is imminent with the Province of Ontario. I would like to thank Finance Minister Eves and his staff for their assistance, their support has been crucial.

Rent. Rent is still an outstanding issue for the Airport. We note in the Auditor General's recent report that Transport Canada could not demonstrate how the deals for all transferred airports were equitable, uniform, consistent and fair as the Federal Government had directed. At our last annual general meeting, we stated that Ottawa Airport in 1999 paid more rent than Edmonton, Winnipeg, Dorval, Mirabel and Halifax combined. That is a fact.

It is unfair, inconsistent and unequitable. We still seek a fair deal. The issue has now been taken up from coast to coast by such diverse groups as the Canadian Chamber of Commerce, the Tourism Association of Canada, the Hotel Association of Canada, among many others. Together with all airports in this country we are actively working towards a solution.

The Airport Board of Directors has made a prudent decision, a decision based on the need to serve our community. The decision to expand, is the right decision.

We have taken our expansion plans to the community twice now. In 1998, for the Master Plan, and this year, with the Project definition document. We are progressing prudently, responsively, listening to community needs and wants.

La Phase 1 nous permettra d'agrandir avec très peu d'impact sur les opérations de l'Aéroport. Nos clients n'auront pas à visiter un site en construction.

Nous allons construire une nouvelle aérogare, une aérogare efficace, abordable. Un édifice fonctionnel, qui répondra aux besoins de la communauté.

La région a besoin de cet aéroport pour être bien servie. Les gens, les entreprises, l'industrie du tourisme, demandent de plus en plus de services aéroportuaires. L'Aéroport d'Ottawa ne laissera pas tomber ses clients.

And in ten years, in twenty years, when our Region demands more, even Phases 2 and 3 will deliver. The Airport can now grow with the Region. Phases 2 and 3 will provide extraordinary return on the initial 300 million dollars investment. This project was selected because it provides adequate capacity and because it is financially responsible. In fact, the Board waited to all but confirm financing before approving our three phase construction project. Well, financing is well underway.

The whole project will be fully financed by the airport improvement fee. 100% without government support.

Les frais aéroportuaires sont un moyen simple et juste de financer des projets en capitaux pour les aéroports du monde entier. Sans subvention gouvernementale, ce sont les voyageurs qui permettent le développement des aéroports qu'ils utilisent.

Nous avons tout fait afin d'assurer un rendement maximum pour tous les dollars destinés à l'expansion :
un plan directeur un document de définition de projet des consultations publiques des études de coûts. We have done our homework. The design and scope of this project are the culmination of three years of public consultation, careful study and planning. This year, our team of projects managers, architects and engineers have all validated the approach we have taken and the numbers we have produced. Today, we have an announcement that we know will be welcomed. Ottawa Airport Expansion is great news for the community.

Over the next few months, this project will evolve, take shape and colours. An excellent team will develop the plans, and we will again take these plans to the public.

That team has been tasked with developing an airport worthy of Ottawa-Hull. A reflection of our Region.

Nous avons encore beaucoup de travail à faire avant de célébrer. Aujourd'hui, et pour les trois prochaines années, l'Aéroport fera face à un défi plus grand que tous ceux déjà rencontrés. L'Aéroport devra continuer d'innover, d'améliorer ses installations afin de servir de plus en plus de passagers.

The Airport cannot be expected to stand still and tolerate major reductions in levels of services, caused by an accelerating number of customers. We will continue to improve current facilities.

We will spend wisely, as we have done over the past four years. We will do our best to provide this Region with appropriate air travel services. That is our mandate, and that's what Ottawa Airport Expansion will accomplish for the next 20 years. The new Ottawa Airport will arrive on time and on budget. We are moving forward. This region cannot wait. Expansion is required. And today, it begins.

Before we entertain questions from the media, I would like to invite our Chair, to give you your first look at the future of Ottawa Airport.