Message from the Chair of the Board of Directors
2017 was a year to remember for many reasons – not the least of which was Canada’s 150th Birthday. The events that were hosted across our Region to mark this special milestone made the rest of the country take notice. They also instilled a tremendous sense of pride in our residents. As the Chairman of the Board, I was delighted that the Airport Authority partnered with Celebrations Ottawa and played such an essential role as the primary gateway to the festivities. Our visitors knew the moment they stepped into the airport that they were in for something special.
Amidst these wonderful celebrations, the Authority also celebrated its 20th anniversary as a private organization. In 1997, Transport Canada turned the ceremonial keys to the Airport over to the inaugural Board of Directors and Senior Management team, and the Authority hasn’t looked back since. By investing hundreds of millions of dollars in capital infrastructure including a new Passenger Terminal Building, Combined Services Building, comprehensive runway reconstruction, and safety enhancements that exceed Canadian recommendations to meet international standards, the Ottawa International Airport has become an institution that instills pride in our community.
This kind of success requires vision, resourcefulness and good governance – all qualities that define the Authority. From the governance perspective, I have the good fortune to work with an engaged and committed Board that oversees all aspects of the Authority’s mandate. They actively participate in Board and committee work and represent the Airport in the community. I commend them for the great work they do.
Two members left the Board in 2017 as their terms came to an end. Both Gilles Lalonde and Susan St. Amand filled the role of Chair of the Board during their tenures, and both provided excellent leadership and guidance. Gilles was Chair from 2012 until 2015, and Susan from 2015 until she left the Board in April 2017. I would like to thank them for their exemplary service to the Authority, the Airport, and the community.
When I assumed the role of Chair, I followed Craig Bater who filled the post on an interim basis for several months; I would like to also thank Craig for the outstanding job he did ensuring that we maintained good governance through the transition period.
We were also very pleased to welcome Michèle Lafontaine, who joined the Board in April, and brings her experience as both a notary and an advisor on governance practices to the Authority.
As we work with the CEO and the Senior Management team, we continue to be impressed with the sense of responsibility and excellence with which they and their colleagues treat the Airport. By going above and beyond during irregular operations and by making our customers and guests feel taken care of by their exceptional attention to detail, the entire team makes our Airport world-class.
This level of excellence was confirmed in late-February 2018 when we learned that the Ottawa International Airport would once again grace the podium in the 2017 Airport Service Quality customer service benchmarking program. The Airport was ranked first in the category of Best Airport by Size and Region – North America for airports that serve between 2 and 5 million passengers per year, and tied for second place for Best Airport by Region – North America amongst all airports serving more than 2 million passengers. Customer service excellence is a team effort, and everyone who had a hand in these achievements can take pride in the ASQ accolades. We also extend heartfelt thanks to our clients who took the time to participate in the survey and acknowledged their delight.
As we wrap up what was a fantastic year on many fronts, I would like to express my thanks to the entire Authority team. They continue to make our Airport a leader among its peers across the continent, and I encourage them to keep up the good work, knowing that every effort they put forth makes a difference in the eyes of our passengers.
Chair of the Board of Directors