• Serving Ottawa, ON / Canada
    Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
  • Ottawa Airport Information

    Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport: 1000 Airport Parkway Private, Ottawa, ON K1V 9B4, Canada

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport


Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is located several miles south of downtown Ottawa along the Rideau River. The airport is named after John A. MacDonald and George-√Čtienne Cartier, both important figures in Canadian history. In terms of traffic, Ottawa International is the sixth-busiest airport in the country. The airport is widely recognized for excellent service and amenities. It won the 2010 Aircraft Service Quality Award for best airport in its category. It is also one of the few airports in Canada to have preclearance facilities for United States customs, allowing travelers flying to the U.S. to avoid the hassle of going through customs at their destination.

History of the Airport

Ottawa International was originally named Uplands in its first few decades of service. The field was a joint military-civilian facility. It was home to a training school for pilots during World War II. During this time, it was the busiest airport in Canada in terms of total aircraft movements. As jets began to enter commercial airline service in the 1950s, airport authorities began construction of a new terminal and two new runways big enough to accommodate jet traffic. Unfortunately, just before the terminal was scheduled to open in 1959, a U.S. Air Force F-104 accidentally exceeded the speed of sound and broke the terminal’s glass windows with a sonic boom. This delayed the new terminal’s opening by several months.

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport Amenities

Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is made up of three asphalt runways and one main terminal with more than 20 gates. Two of the runways are suitable for small and large jet aircraft. Due to its short length, the third is only used by small propeller planes. The commercial terminal currently in use for commercial airlines was originally constructed in 2003. The old terminal was occasionally used to handle excess traffic. It was attached by walking bridge to the new terminal until it was destroyed to create space for more renovations 2008.

The interior design of Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport focuses on creating a calm and relaxing atmosphere for passengers moving through the terminal. This is accomplished through the display of original creations by Canadian artists, water features, glass sculptures, elegant stone finishings, indigenous wood carvings and a glass sculpture created by the Canadian artist Warren Carther. A soothing water display represents the meeting of three rivers that make up Ottawa’s core. The main terminal is also known for having great concessions. It won awards for Best Concessions Management Team, Best Program Design, and Best Overall Program in 2010.

The amenities and services offered by Ottawa International rank among the highest in the world. The airport has quality facilities and staff to meet a variety of financial, luggage, shopping, religious, and business needs. There are high-tech meeting facilities that are perfect for conducting business in person, over the phone or over the Internet. A variety of flexible boardrooms are able to accommodate dozens of people for a full or half day at a time. Luxury lounges with full bars and comfortable seating are available to passengers flying select airlines. A chapel open to all faith groups is open 24 hours a day to meet the religious needs of any passenger.