Government of Canada supporting the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport with new funding  

News release

June 16, 2021                Ottawa              Transport Canada

Helping airports mitigate the financial impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is part of the Government of Canada’s strategy to ensure that Canada’s air transportation system provides Canadians with choice, connectivity and affordable air travel. Canada’s world-leading network of airports has been put under substantial financial strain as a result of the dramatic decline in passenger travel resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Investments in airport infrastructure are crucial to maintain safety, security, and connectivity for travellers, airport workers and surrounding communities.

Today, the Minister of Transport, the Honourable Omar Alghabra, along with the Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, the Honourable Catherine McKenna, and the Member of Parliament for Ottawa South, the Honourable David McGuinty, announced new funding to help the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and to support continued air services and important transportation infrastructure projects at the airport.

The Government of Canada is providing the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority with $6.4 million from Transport Canada’s Airport Critical Infrastructure Program for the construction of a light rail transit (LRT) station at the airport. The government also remains committed to working with the Ottawa Airport to ensure this important project is seen through until completion.

The airport LRT station will be a three-story elevated structure connecting the airport terminal at the north end of Level 3 to the LRT station platform. The station will provide fully accessible connectivity for all users of the LRT who travel to and from the Ottawa Airport. Construction of the station is underway and is expected to be completed in summer 2022.

In addition to the funding for the LRT station, the Government of Canada is also providing the Airport Authority with $5,690,000 from Transport Canada’s Airport Relief Fund to help the airport maintain continued airport operations and essential air services for residents and workers in the National Capital Region and surrounding communities.


“As we move forward with the safe gradual return of activity in the aviation sector, both in Canada and internationally, in a way that continues to support the health, safety, and security of all Canadians, it will be imperative that we continue to ensure a vibrant and competitive Canadian air sector. The construction of the light rail transit station at the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport will reduce traffic congestion and improve accessibility and connectivity to the airport by offering an environmentally sustainable direct link between downtown Ottawa and the airport.”

The Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport

“The integration of the Ottawa airport with the LRT will help get cars off the road, reduce emissions and build a better transit system for Ottawa residents and visitors alike. Recognizing challenges for the Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport caused by COVID 19, and the importance for this project to go ahead as planned to create jobs and grow the economy, the Government of Canada providing additional funding of up to $6.4 million for the construction of the LRT station at the airport. In great news, once the second phase of the LRT is built, close to 80% of Ottawans will live within 5km of the LRT making it a critical investment in building a clean, livable city.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Infrastructure

“The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport is a major local economic engine. The construction of the LRT station will ensure that YOW is better connected to our growing National Capital Region, making our community more resilient and sustainable. Through this funding, our government is investing in critical infrastructure that will create hundreds of jobs and help with our economic recovery.”

The Honourable David McGuinty
Member of Parliament for Ottawa South

“Today’s announcement and the confirmation of funding for the Airport Terminal Station is welcome news. It will help us fulfill our commitment to build the station and ensure that YOW’s passengers, airport employees and surrounding communities are well served by reliable, predictable light rail service well into the future. Connecting the airport with the city centre and beyond by rail will be an important selling feature as the aviation and tourism industries recover and we work to bring major events and conferences back to Canada’s Capital Region.”

Mark Laroche
President and CEO
Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority

Quick facts

  • The total cost of the airport LRT station is $16.9 million. The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport Authority is the project manager and will provide the remaining funding for the project.

  • The Airport Critical Infrastructure Program, launched in May 2021, will distribute $489.6 million in funding over five years to airports for eligible infrastructure projects related to safety, security or connectivity to mass transit systems.

  • The Airport Relief Fund, launched in May 2021, will provide $64.8 million in funding in 2021-2022 for targeted airports whose 2019 revenues were less than $250 million.

  • The amount of funding to each targeted eligible Airport Relief Fund recipient was calculated using a tiered formula-based approach, based on 2019 revenues.

  • Funding provided from the Airport Relief Fund must be used to cover activities that are directly related to the airport’s operations to ensure that the airport remains open to travellers and surrounding communities.

  • First introduced in the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, the Airport Critical Infrastructure Program and the Airport Relief Fund are part of a federal stimulus recovery plan designed to build a stronger, more inclusive and more resilient economy post-COVID-19.

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Associated links


Allison St-Jean
Senior Communications Advisor & Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Omar Alghabra
Minister of Transport, Ottawa

Media Relations
Transport Canada, Ottawa

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