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After surpassing 5 million passengers, YOW renewal takes flight

New amenities planned to meet growing passenger needs

Alt Hotel
Alt Hotel

When the Ottawa International Airport surpassed the five-million-passenger mark late last year, it was more than a symbolic milestone. It also reinforced that for YOW to continue its role as a community economic enabler; it must keep up with the growing needs of Canada’s Capital Region.

 “Our passenger volume has increased over the past several years, thanks to a strong local economy. The airport must keep pace with the growth and continue to deliver the high level of service our clients expect,” says Mark Laroche, President and CEO of the Ottawa International Airport Authority. 

The current terminal is designed to accommodate five million passengers. To meet the demand and growth forecast, upcoming modernization projects include relocated and expanded security screening facilities, new concessions, the addition of an onsite terminal-connected hotel, and construction of a terminal light rail station. Plans are already starting to take shape.

In late January, Group Germain Hotels revealed details for a 180-room, $40-million Alt hotel adjacent the multi-level parkade. Its top floor will contain meeting rooms and a restaurant featuring 360-degree airport views. The hotel will offer traveller-friendly amenities, including no predetermined checkout time and ultra-fast free WiFi. Estimated to be completed by late 2020, the Alt Ottawa Airport hotel will meet the needs of multiple traveller types.

Given the airport is a key driver of the visitor economy – inclusive of leisure tourism, meetings and conventions, major events, and corporate travel – a terminal hotel is a natural fit. Similarly, new stores and restaurants, offering a diverse range of food, beverage and shopping options, will provide a modernized experience for local and visiting passengers. 

“The projects we are undertaking over the next five years will be transformative for the airport and the community. We have listened to our passengers and stakeholders and are responding with connected accommodations, greater in-terminal choice, local flavours, and multimodal transportation options. Reaching the five-million mark confirms that we are headed in the right direction.”

YOW continues to work with airline partners to discuss the benefits of serving Canada’s Capital Region in an effort to attract additional capacity and destinations. Airlines decide where to deploy their aircraft based on a market’s volume, its yield, and how that geographic location fits into their overall network strategy. 

More information about the new concession operators is expected later this year. Further details about the overall enhancement program, including project updates, can be found at