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About the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW)


The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport (YOW) is managed by the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority (‘OMCIAA’ or ‘Authority’). Established as a private, not-for-profit organization, the OMCIAA is tasked with operating and developing airport facilities and lands in support of the economic growth of the National Capital Region. The OMCIAA is governed by a 14-member Board of Directors that is nominated by various selecting bodies from organizations and levels of government in the National Capital Region.

As Canada’s 6th largest airport, we are proud of our role as an economic generator for the local community and as a key gateway to the rest of Canada, communities in the north, and around the globe. In 2017, the airport is serving a total of 11 domestic, transborder, and international air carriers and provides direct access to 26 destinations for passengers traveling to and from Canada’s National Capital Region. In 2016, YOW served over 4.7 million enplaned/deplaned passengers, representing a 1.9% increase from 2015 traffic levels. 2016 was the airport’s busiest year in terms of passengers served since the air terminal facility was officially opened by Prime Minister Diefenbaker in June 1960.


In early 2017, YOW was once again recognized by Airports Council International (ACI) in two categories of its Airport Service Quality Customer Service Benchmarking Program. YOW placed 2nd in the ‘Best Airport by Region‘ (North America) category, and 3rd in the ‘Best Airport by Size’ (worldwide, 2-5 million passengers) category. Our continued focus on customer service that resulted in these awards is a tribute to every organization that contributes to the customer experience at YOW.


To be the world class gateway for Canada’s Capital Region and an economic engine that drives prosperity for our community.


The Authority is a leader in providing quality, safe, secure, sustainable, and affordable air transportation services to the airport’s customers and communities and be a driver of economic growth within Canada’s Capital Region.

Our Values

  • Responsibility
  • Sustainability (financial + environmental)
  • Accountability
  • Integrity

Did You Know?

  • YOW is approximately 15 km from downtown Ottawa and Gatineau.
  • The airport was originally opened in 1928 as a flying field for the Ottawa Flying Club.
  • By 1939, the airport was designated for military use which included a military flight training school.
  • The original terminal was opened by Prime Minister Diefenbaker on June 30, 1960.
  • In 1993, the airport was renamed to honour two of Canada’s Fathers of Confederation: Sir John A. Macdonald and Sir George-Étienne Cartier.
  • The new Passenger Terminal Building opened in October 2003.
  • Porter Airlines marked ten years of flying refined on October 23rd, 2016. When Porter launched its business plan in 2006, it chose Ottawa as its inaugural market and commenced operating its Bombardier Q400 aircraft between YOW and YTZ-Billy Bishop Airport with 54 flights per week. Since then, Porter’s business at YOW has grown to 140 flights per week to four destinations: downtown Toronto, Halifax, Moncton and seasonally to Mont Tremblant.
  • Canada’s sesquicentennial (150th birthday) celebrations promise to bring millions of tourists to Ottawa-Gatineau throughout 2017, as events are held across the region. Being the only air transport gateway into the region and in recognition of the importance of this year-long celebration, the Authority has partnered with Celebrations Ottawa to showcase pageantry in the terminal to provide a fitting and festive welcome for all visitors.
  • Project Clear Skies - In 2016, the Authority completed another wave of Project Clear Skies funding and supported projects in Ottawa-Gatineau worth nearly $140,000. Since introducing the charitable giving program in 2004, more than $1.4 million has been invested in worthy projects that have made a difference in the lives of residents in Canada’s Capital Region.
  • The Authority completed one of the most complex projects it has undertaken since the construction of the terminal building. The $60.0 million baggage handling system (BHS) upgrade project was fully commissioned in the summer of 2016, after an intensive 33-month construction schedule that included tenant moves and new building construction to accommodate them.



Total Annual Enplaned/Deplaned Passengers (2016)
Total Annual Aircraft Movements (2016)
Number of air carriers (2017)
Number of non-stop destinations served (2016)
Number of continents served (2017)
Revenue (in dollars)

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