Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport

From Infogalactic: the planetary knowledge core
Jump to: navigation, search
Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport
Aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier d'Ottawa
WMO: 71628
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada[1]
Operator Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport Authority
Serves National Capital Region
Focus city for
Time zone EST (UTC−05:00)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC−04:00)
Elevation AMSL 374 ft / 114 m
Coordinates Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
CYOW is located in Ontario
Location in Ottawa
Direction Length Surface
ft m
04/22 3,300 1,006 Asphalt
07/25 8,000 2,438 Asphalt
14/32 10,005 3,050 Asphalt
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft movements 154,637
Number of Passengers 4,616,448
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[2]
Environment Canada[3]
Movements from Statistics Canada[4]
Passenger statistics from Ottawa Airport.[5]

Ottawa/Macdonald–Cartier International Airport or Macdonald–Cartier International Airport (L'aéroport international Macdonald-Cartier in French), (IATA: YOWICAO: CYOW) in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada is an international airport named after Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier. Located in the south end of the city, 5.5 nautical miles (10.2 km; 6.3 mi) south of downtown Ottawa, it is Canada's sixth busiest airport and Ontario's second busiest airport by airline passenger traffic and Canada's eighth busiest by aircraft movements, with 4,616,448 passengers and 154,637 aircraft movements in 2014.[4][5] The airport is an Air Canada focus city and the home base for First Air. The airport is classified as an airport of entry by Nav Canada and is staffed by the Canada Border Services Agency. The airport is one of eight Canadian airports that have United States border preclearance facilities. The airport used to be a military base known as CFB Ottawa South/CFB Uplands.


Lt. J. Thad Johnson

On July 2, 1927, twelve P-1 airplanes under command of Major Thomas G. Lanphier, Air Corps, proceeded from Selfridge Field to Ottawa, Canada, acting as Special Escort for Colonel Charles Lindbergh, who was to attend at the opening of the Dominion Jubilee. First Lieutenant J. Thad Johnson, Air Corps, commanding 27th Pursuit Squadron, was killed in an unsuccessful parachute jump after a collision with another plane of formation in demonstration on arrival over Ottawa. There is now a street leading to the airport industrial section named after the aviator.[6]

The airport was opened at Uplands on a high plateau (then) south of Ottawa by the Ottawa Flying Club, which still operates from the field. During World War II, when it was known as Uplands, the airport hosted No. 2 Service Flying Training School for the British Commonwealth Air Training Plan, providing advanced pilot training in Harvard and Yale aircraft.

In 1950, to allow for a southward expansion of the airport, the nearby farming community of Bowesville, settled from 1821, was expropriated. The last residents left and the village school was torn down in 1951. The current main airport terminal now stands on the site of the crossroads at the centre of the village. The road to the south of the airport still bears the name "Bowesville Road".[7]

During the 1950s, while the airport was still named Uplands and a joint-use civilian/military field, it was the busiest airport in Canada by takeoffs and landings, reaching a peak of 307,079 aircraft movements in 1959,[8] nearly double its current traffic. At the time, the airport had scheduled airline flights by Trans-Canada Air Lines (Toronto, Montreal, and Val-d'Or), Trans Air (Churchill), and Eastern Air Lines (New York via Syracuse and Washington via Montreal).[8] With the arrival of civilian jet travel, the Canadian government built a new field south of the original one, with two much longer runways and a new terminal building designed to handle up to 900,000 passengers/year. The terminal building had been scheduled to open in 1959, but during the opening ceremonies, a United States Air Force F-104 Starfighter went supersonic during a low pass over the airport, and the resultant sonic boom shattered most of the glass in the airport (including the entire north wall) and damaged ceiling tiles, door and window frames, and even structural beams.[9] As a result, the opening was delayed until April 1960. The original terminal building and Trans-Canada Airways/DOT hangar continued in private use on the airport's north field until the Fall 2011 when it was demolished.

In 1993 the airport was renamed "Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport".


New terminal as seen from the tarmac

At the turn of the millennium, the Ottawa Airport Authority announced plans to build a second, adjacent terminal to meet the demands of increased traffic. The new terminal was built ahead of schedule and opened on October 12, 2003. The new terminal building now handles all airline passenger traffic. A section of the 1960 terminal, which was connected to the new terminal by an enclosed bridge, was still used at peak times of the day when extra gate space is needed, and it also handled most domestic prop flights.

The old terminal and tower were built in 1960 was a modernist International style designed by architects James Strutt, William Gilleland and Transport Canada. It was demolished in 2008 to make way for Phase II of the new terminal.

The airport's board of directors approved a further expansion of the airport's passenger terminal on April 4, 2006. The extension of the new terminal was built in phases by Brisbin Brook Benyon and Architectura.[10] Phase II, the next phase of the expansion program opened March 13, 2008. This new addition contains over 7,000 m2 (75,000 sq ft) of space and adds an additional twelve gates and seven jetways. The 1960 terminal was designed by Gilleland and Strutt and by Transport Canada architect W.A. Ramsay[10] and renovations by Murray and Murray, Griffiths and Rankin from 1984 to 1987. The old terminal has been demolished and by the end of 2008; its former location was paved over to provide room for more gates and jetways.

Interior design

The terminal's design focuses on creating a calm and easy travel experience for passengers but also honours aspects of the region through the display of various art by commissioned Canadian artists. 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.[11] The airport features a large-scale carved glass sculpture by Canadian glass artist, Warren Carther.

Airlines and destinations

Macdonald–Cartier Airport is part of Canada's busiest air corridor between Ottawa, Montreal, and Toronto, which is commonly referred to as the Eastern Triangle.[12] Air Canada has had specially branded flights between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal, known as Rapidair. The airport is also a gateway for flights to the eastern Arctic via Iqaluit. While Ottawa's airport serves many major North American airlines and has flights to Europe, the Caribbean and many cities to the United States, Ottawa is the largest metropolitan area of Canada which does not serve as a hub for any airline.


Airlines Destinations
Air Canada Calgary, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, Halifax, London–Heathrow, Montréal–Trudeau, St. John's, Toronto–Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco, Frankfurt, Holguín, Montego Bay, Orlando, Providenciales, Punta Cana, Samaná, Santa Clara, Tampa, Varadero
Air Canada Express Boston, Charlottetown, Fredericton, Halifax, London (ON), Moncton, Montréal–Trudeau, New York–LaGuardia, Quebec City, Toronto–Pearson, Washington–National, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Regina, Saskatoon
Air North Whitehorse, Yellowknife
Air Transat Seasonal: Cancún, Montego Bay, Orlando, Puerto Plata, Punta Cana, Santa Clara, Varadero
American Eagle Philadelphia
Canadian North Iqaluit, Rankin Inlet, Yellowknife
Charter: Miami
Delta Connection Detroit, New York–JFK (begins 5 April 2016)
Seasonal: Atlanta
First Air Iqaluit
Porter Airlines Halifax, Moncton, Toronto–Billy Bishop
Sunwing Airlines Varadero
Seasonal: Cancún, Cayo Coco, Fort Lauderdale, Freeport, Holguin, Montego Bay, Puerto Plata, Puerto Vallarta, Punta Cana, Santa Clara
United Express Chicago–O'Hare, Newark, Washington–Dulles
WestJet Calgary, Toronto–Pearson, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Cancún, Edmonton, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Halifax, Las Vegas, Montego Bay, Orlando, Punta Cana, St. John's, Tampa, Vancouver
WestJet Encore Halifax, Moncton, Toronto–Pearson


Non-stop and same-plane freighter and/or combi flights

Airlines Destinations
Canadian North Iqaluit
Cargojet Airways Hamilton (ON)
FedEx Express Buffalo, Indianapolis, Memphis, Montréal–Mirabel
First Air (operated by Cargojet Airways) Iqaluit, Kuujjuaq
SkyLink Aviation Montréal–Mirabel, Toronto–Pearson


Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at Ottawa Airport, 1996 thru 2014[13][14]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 4,473,894 2000 3,434,345
2009 4,232,830 1999 3,211,607
2008 4,339,225 1998 3,110,548
2007 4,088,528 1997 3,046,368
2006 3,807,756 1996 2,857,838
2005 3,735,433
2014 4,616,448 2004 3,609,885
2013 4,578,591 2003 3,262,345
2012 4,685,956 2002 3,216,886
2011 4,624,626 2001 3,391,295


OC Transpo bus route 97 provides frequent express service to downtown along a dedicated transitway with connections to the O-Train Trillium Line and other bus stations. Ottawa City Council has had several proposals tabled that include a light rail link to the airport. A spur linking that airport to the light rail system is included in the city's current preferred plan for expansion of the O-Train south to Bowesville.[15][16] The current plan calls for a station to be built inside the terminal as part of a future terminal expansion, with the airport volunteering funds for the building of the station.[17] Airport limos and shuttle buses are also available, and there are several rental car agencies located at the airport.

Facility layout

Diagram of the Ottawa airport (prior to 2005)

The airport consists of two distinct airfields connected by a taxiway. The smaller north field, originally referred to as Uplands, was founded by the Ottawa Flying Club in the late 1920s and then used by Trans-Canada Air Lines, the predecessor of Air Canada. This was the area primarily used by No. 2 Service Flying Training School. Several hangars were constructed during World War II, but were all demolished by the early 2000s.

The north field is still popular for general aviation, although only one of its runways, 04/22, is still in use. There are a number of aircraft component repair facilities located within the same grouping of buildings as the Ottawa Flying Club.

The south field consists of the two longer runways, 07/25 and 14/32, designed for jet airliners. The public passenger terminal is tucked into the north side of the intersection of the two runways, while the two general aviation FBOs for the south field are nearer to the threshold of runway 25. Customs services for private aircraft are available at the two fixed base operators (FBO), Shell Aerocentre and Esso, on the south field. There are also a number of aviation component repair facilities on airport grounds, mostly in the Esso Avitat complex. The Government of Canada operates a number of hangars, including the Canada Reception Centre, which is used to greet visiting dignitaries. The National Research Council operates two facilities on the north side of the grounds, including a wind tunnel. Transport Canada operates two facilities on airport grounds, one which houses training equipment, including flight simulators, and a hangar for maintenance and storage of government owned aircraft.


The 2010 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Award for Best Airport in the World for the 2–5 million passengers category went to Ottawa Airport.[18]

In February 2010, Ottawa Macdonald–Cartier International Airport was recognized by customers for its excellent customer service in the results of Airports Council International's (ACI) Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program. For the fifth consecutive year, Ottawa placed second overall for worldwide airports that serve between 0 and 5 million passengers. In 2008, 118 airports from around the world participated in ASQ.[19]

Along with Air Canada, the airport was the joint winner of the 2010 Ottawa Tourism Award for Tourism Partnership of the Year in recognition of the co-operative work done in promoting Air Canada's non-stop flight between Frankfurt and Ottawa.[20]

Also in 2010, the airport was presented with three Airport Revenue News Best Airport Concessions Awards. In the Small Airport division, Ottawa was named the winner in the following categories: Airport with the Best Concessions Program Design, Airport with the Best Concessions Management Team, and Airport with the Best Overall Concessions Program.

The 2011 it won Best Airport in North America of the Airport Service Quality Awards by Airports Council International,[21] as well as 2nd Best Airport by Size in the 2 to 5 million passenger category.[22]

Incidents and accidents

In August 1959, a U.S. Air Force Lockheed F-104 Starfighter performed a low fly-by of the airport during celebration of the opening of a new terminal in Ottawa and on request by the organisers went supersonic over the main runway. The result was catastrophic, causing windows and parts of the walls of the new terminal to shatter. The terminal was only reopened in 1960.[23]

On May 19, 1967, an Air Canada Douglas DC-8 on a training flight from Montreal crashed on approach to the Ottawa airport, killing all three crew members.[24]

On September 15, 1988, a Bradley Air Services (now First Air) BAe 748 crashed on approach to runway 25, killing both crew members.[25]

On July 1, 1990, a P-51 Mustang crashed on the Hylands Golf Course during the National Capital Airshow, killing the pilot, Harry Tope. He was performing with the aircraft fully fueled and luggage on board for the trip home after the airshow and was unable to recover from a manoeuver.[26]

On June 13, 1997, a North American Airlines Fairchild Swearingen Metroliner struck the runway with gear retracted during a botched approach, resulting in propellor strikes and a fire in one engine when it came to rest on runway 25. The aircraft was written off, but the crew escaped without injury.[27][28]

On September 15, 2000, a Miami Air International Boeing 727 arriving to pick up the Florida Panthers hockey team ran off the end of the runway. There were no injuries.[29]

On July 14, 2004, US Airways Express Flight 3504, an Embraer ERJ-145LR (N829HK) operated by Trans States Airlines, overran the runway and sustained minor damage to the inboard left main landing gear tire. There were no serious injuries.[30]

On February 17, 2008, a WestJet Boeing 737 from Calgary International Airport went off the end of runway 07 shortly after landing. None of the 86 passengers and 6 crew members on board were injured. A slippery runway and the lack of use of the speed brakes on the aircraft contributed to the accident.[31]

On April 22, 2009, a Porter Airlines Bombardier Dash 8 had its tail damaged after it struck the ground upon landing. It was taken out of service and was later repaired.[32]

On June 16, 2010, United Express Flight 8050, an Embraer ERJ-145 (N847HK) operated by Trans States Airlines, overran the runway and was substantially damaged when the nose gear collapsed. There were 36 people on board, 33 passengers and 3 crew, and 2 of the crew and 1 passenger were injured.[33][34]

On September 4, 2011, United Express Flight 3363, an Embraer ERJ-145 (N840HK) operated by Trans States Airlines, slid off the runway upon landing. All 44 passengers and the 3 crew aboard were uninjured, although the plane sustained substantial damage.[35]


  1. "Airport Divestiture Status Report". 2011-01-12. Retrieved 2011-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  3. Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Total aircraft movements by class of operation — NAV CANADA towers". Retrieved 2015-07-25.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. 5.0 5.1 "2010–2014 Ottawa Passenger Statistics" (PDF). Retrieved 2015-01-19.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. O’Malley, Dave; Audette, André. "Lucky Lindy and Unlucky Thad". Vintage Wings of Canada. Retrieved 15 June 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. Johnston, Grace (1988). Bowesville: A Place to Remember. Gloucester, Ontario: Gloucester Historical Society. ISBN 0-9691106-3-4. |access-date= requires |url= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. 8.0 8.1 "November 2006 – A Page in History Has Been Turned". 1960-06-30. Retrieved 2011-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Monday, Apr. 25, 1960 (1960-04-25). "The Sound of Security". Retrieved 2011-02-23. <templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. 10.0 10.1
  11. New Ottawa Airport Terminal Building Unveiled, Press Release
  12. "Battle Heats up over Triangle Business Passengers". 2009-08-08. Retrieved 2011-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Facts and Figures. Retrieved on Apr 3, 2015.
  14. 2011 Annual Report (pg 10). Retrieved on Apr 3, 2015.
  15. Matthew Pearson (15 January 2015). "Changing trains likely for proposed O-Train airport link". Ottawa Citizen. Retrieved 16 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  16. "Ottawa LRT airport link praised in principle by city, airport authority". CBC News. January 14, 2015. Retrieved 16 January 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  17. "Finance committee approves phase 2 LRT plan". Ottawa Citizen. June 29, 2015. Retrieved 14 July 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  18. ASQ Awards – Past Winners 2010
  19. "Airports Council International". Retrieved 2011-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  20. "Airport, treasure hunting firm take Ottawa Tourism prizes – Tourism – Local – Ottawa Business Journal". 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2011-02-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  21. "ASQ Award for Best Airport in North America" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13
  22. "ASQ Award for Best Airport by Size (2–5m)" Airports Council International. 14 February 2012. Retrieved 2012-04-13
  23. "The Past: A Brief History of the Ottawa International Airport". Retrieved ~~~~~. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  24. Accident description for Air Canada, C-FTJM at the Aviation Safety Network
  25. Accident description for Bradley Air Services, C-GFFA at the Aviation Safety Network
  26. "Michigan Oilman dies in crash at Canadian air show". The Argus News. Retrieved 19 October 2012.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  27. Accident description for North American Airlines (NTM1017) at the Aviation Safety Network
  28. CADORS report for North American Airlines (NTM1017)
  29. CADORS report for Miami Air International (N806MA)
  30. CADORS report for US Airways Express (LOF3504)
  31. CADORS report for WestJet (WJA846)
  32. CADORS report for Porter Airlines (POE263)
  33. Hradecky, Simon. "Accident: Trans States E145 at Ottawa on Jun 16th 2010, runway overrun". Aviation Herald. Retrieved 17 June 2010.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  34. CADORS report for Trans States Airlines (LOF8050)
  35. CADORS report for Trans States Airlines (LOF3363)

External links