Airport approachOttawa International, also known as Macdonald Cartier International Airport, or “YOW” (its international aeronautical designation) is a major air hub for eastern Ontario. The terminal is 10 kilometres south of downtown, just east of the Rideau River. It takes about 30 minutes to get into town from the airport, via the Airport Parkway. To get to the airport, take Bronson Avenue South from Highway 17 East or West off-ramps to connect to the Airport Parkway.

The airport is also the location of the National Research Council wind tunnel testing facilities, and Armed Forced Base Ottawa (the former air base at Rockcliffe is now used for smaller recreational planes, and for the National Air Museum).

The Ottawa airport handles about 77,000 aircraft a year, loading and unloading 3.1 million passengers. There are counters for 6 domestic and international airlines, and 6 airlines servicing the USA. Passengers pre-clear US Customs before boarding their planes to US destinations, speeding arrival in the US, and making any subsequent flight connections easier.

Transportation To & From the Airport

View to east, when leaving terminal

From the airport, the best way into town is either by taxi (average cost $20), limousine (Tariff is $45), shuttle bus (is $12.00 one-way and $20.00 return), OC Transpo bus #97 (departs the terminal at the curb outside the Arrivals area, for an adult fare of $3.60) or by rent-a-car (varies).The shuttle bus will drop you off at any downtown hotel. If you need to visit any of the suburbs (Kanata, for example), you should consider a rental car. While the downtown area is quite compact, everything outside is a distance away. For those on a budget, the
#87 transit bus is the best deal, and leaves about every 15 minutes (weekdays).

Airport Parking

Ottawa’s airport has longer term parking not far from the terminal itself. Depending on your trip length parking may or may not be cheaper than a taxi to & from the airport.


(parking garage)

Long Term/Overheight

(surface lot)

30 Minutes$5.00      $5.00
Daily Maximum$24.00      $17.00
Weekly MaximumN/A      $78.00
CoveredYes      No
Maximum Height2.25 meters      3.6 meters
Walking Distance to Terminal2 minutes      7 minutes