Paul Benoit - Assemblée annuelle publique - le 9 mai 2001

Annual Public Meeting - May 9th, 2001
Paul Benoit


One of the simple facts about the airport business is that you never know for sure how busy you'll be tomorrow. You can plan, but the result really depends on the plans of your customers.

Some businesses shape their markets. For other businesses, markets shape them.

And that's the kind of business we have at Ottawa Airport. When people want to fly, we're there to connect them with their carrier.

Our mission is to connect people, planes and cargo, efficiently and effectively, no matter how many people or how much cargo show up.

Vous devrez bien tenir compte de ce rôle qui nous incombe quand vous jetterez un œil sur l'année qui vient de se terminer et tournerez votre regard vers l'avenir.

L'an 2000 a commencé dans un climat d'incertitude. Certaines entreprises consacraient toute leur énergie à surmonter le bogue de l'an 2000. L'aéroport d'Ottawa, lui, devait composer avec la plus importante fusion de compagnies aériennes de l'histoire du Canada et avec les répercussions que cela suppose.

We faced two questions, and our whole year depended on the answers.

Would the combination of Air Canada and Canadian Airlines International mean more passengers for us, or fewer?

And how would the resulting traffic pattern affect our planning for the new airport?

Our annual report tells the story, and it reinforces our reasons for building a new terminal.

Last year, we handled 3.4 million passengers - more than ever before. The growth rate of our business last year more than doubled the rate of the year before.We connected those people to the world, using more routes, and more direct routes, than we ever have.

The carriers who serve Ottawa now fly direct as far east as London, England as far west as Vancouver, as far north as Iqaluit, and as far south as Atlanta. That's a big change.

Before, you would have had to change flights in Toronto or Montreal. Now, you can get there from here, non-stop.As we have seen recently, the community can either use these new routes, or lose them. And go back to the old ways. It's our choice.

The airport's growth, be it a new terminal or new direct service to a major destination, is truly derived from community demand.

Notre expansion tient à plusieurs facteurs. L'essor du secteur de la haute technologie dans la région en est une.

Ceux qui travaillent dans ce secteur parcourent le monde à la recherche d'idées et d'innovations. Les déplacements des représentants du gouvernement nous garantissent une fondation solide, tandis que la région d'Ottawa, par son dynamisme et ses attraits, continue d'attirer les touristes.

Une autre raison majeure de notre croissance est l'attitude des employés de l'aéport. Ils savent que dorénavant nous dirigeons une entreprise et que le client est roi.
Pareille attitude nous aide beaucoup, jour après jour.

Our financial statements capture the results.

Last year we posted a surplus of $21 million dollars.

Now, you may say that's a lot of extra money for a community-based organization to carry in its bank account.

But you should realize that this money is a down payment on the new airport.

The surplus is money we won't have to borrow, and it's money that makes it possible for us to keep up with the growth in our business.

In short, we are even better positioned to finance an expansion project that has become ever more necessary.

L'an dernier, nous avons aussi construit le nouveau bâtiment des services intégrés qui a remplacé la caserne et le garage d'autrefois, devenus désuets. Imaginez notre fierté.

Non seulement s'agit-il du projet le plus ambitieux que nous avons réalisé jusqu'à présent, mais ce bâtiment est considéré comme le plus bel ouvrage architectural érigé à Ottawa depuis de nombreuses années.

Le bâtiment des services intégrés a récemment reçu un prix du Canadian Steel Institute pour son architecture.

Le Globe and Mail l'a qualifié de joyau d'architecture.

En ce qui me concerne, je dirai simplement : " Vous aimez comment nous construisons un garage? Attendez de voir le reste! "

The expansion project was a major item for us in 2000. We set in place the foundation for our expansion project - the plan, the people, the public approval through consultations.

Without a doubt, the most important aspect of our year was the board of directors' decision on Oct. 26th to proceed with expansion. This decision ratified more than three years of solid work.

Le travail a débuté peu après 1997, lorsque nous avons choisi de relever le défi en gérant l'aéroport.

Nous avons dressé un plan directeur indiquant les ressources dont nous disposions et les orientations à donner à nos activités. Puis nous avons monté un dossier dans lequel étaient précisées les spécifications et les contraintes d'une nouvelle aérogare et d'autres améliorations.

Et jamais nous n'avons cessé de consulter la communauté. Finalement, au terme d'études exhaustives, nous avons soumis le plan au conseil d'administration pour qu'il l'approuve.

Je tiens à remercier les membres du conseil pour avoir eu confiance dans ce projet et dans l'équipe à sa tête.

The board plays a governing role in our work, and keeps us focused on our mission. Our airport connects our communities to the world. But our connection to our community runs through the 15 members of our board. They are community-appointed, and they make sure that we manage this public trust in the best interests of the national capital region.

Our Board is truly a Governing Board and not a Managing Board.

All of our directors have been instrumental in keeping us connected.

I also want to thank the chairman in particular.

Regis Trudel has played an essential role in positioning our expansion project for success.

Not only did we benefit from his 25 years of land development and construction experience.

We also benefited from his ability to remain focused on the community's needs.

Regis, I thank you on behalf of our management team.

I also thank you personally. You have made a great difference in your time as chairman. Thank you.

En cette cinquième année d'exploitation, après quatre années de succès, nous voici sur le point de construire l'aérogare de l'avenir. Les travaux ont commencé la fin de semaine dernière avec le réaménagement des aires de stationnement et des voies d'accès, afin de libérer l'espace requis par le futur aéroport.

La construction du nouveau bâtiment débutera à la fin de cette semaine.

I must remind you that the changes we've had to make mean that parking is tight - very tight.
For the next year, please take this into account as you plan your journey. You'll find it helpful to add a little extra time, and you'll find that alternatives to your car will make a lot of sense.

We regret the inconvenience, but it's part of the job of building the modern, efficient airport that our community needs.

I have every confidence that we will deliver this project on time and on budget.

We will deliver a new airport that serves this community well.

A new airport that makes this community proud.