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Location, Location & Location!

August 27, 2010
Location Location Location!

This post is to compare the location of the Ottawa MacDonald Cartier Airport vs the Pierre Elliot Trudeau Airport. Which one is better located? We will look at access to the airport, services and also distance from the residents.

The Ottawa MacDonald Cartier airport (YOW) is located in Riverside South, near Hunt Club road. It is located approximately 15 km from the Parliament buildings located in downtown Ottawa (see picture). The drive from downtown is about 25 minutes. Many of the airports clients come from the suburbs ( Nepean, Gloucester, Orleans etc.) which are all relatively close to the airport. Also, most of the suburbs are east, west and south of the airport which helps with traffic. It diverts in many directions from the airport helping the flow of traffic, contrary to the Scotia Bank Place. After a game, almost everyone is going east, simply clogging the streets!
The airport is also close enough to the core of the city to have a relatively efficient transit service by the O.C. Transpo. The airport is served by a major transit route, the 97 Airport via South Keys. The cost for one way travel, if you do not have a pass is $3.25 or two tickets which is $2.50.

YOW is nicely placed, not too far from the heart of the city but not too far from the boonies either, like Mirabel airport. Being outside the residential zones the sound of the jets does not blow anyone ear drums. However, there is a blog to re-instate the old curfew.

Pierre-Elliot Trudeau airport (YUL) located in Dorval, has become the      principal airport in Montreal since 2009 when Mirabel, the white elephant, closed its doors to commercial airlines. The airport, which is on the island of Montreal, is accessible via highway 520 Côte de Liesse. The 520 is accessible via highway 20, the 40 and also the 13 which connects Laval with Montreal (see picture). The airport is pretty central, it is about 40 minutes from Pointe des Trembles (east of Montreal), and 25 min from Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue (west of Montreal), hoping there is no construction and or traffic. Its very central to the island and accessible to all the island residents and most of the suburbs. Its also used by many US residents that live near the border.
For public transit the airport has been recently blessed with 747 route which connects downtown to the airport. If you don’t have a monthly pass on your OPUS card you will be forced to fork out $7, which is still not too bad for a lift to the airport. Its still a little pricey than the other STM routes that serve the airport. That is the 204 route and the 209, which both stop by the Dorval station, its regular fare; $2.75. There is also a future project to establish a commuter train service to the airport from the Central station. (link in french) The lack of a commuter train will not force YUL to closure, which some people point to as the reason why Mirabel closed its doors.

In regards to the proximity to residential areas the airport might be a little too close. This is made evident with the curfew it must respect. Big jets are not allowed to take off between 12 pm and 6 am and can not land from 1 am until 7am.

In light of this, we can see that YUL was not meant to be the main airport in Montreal. The airport never expected to have such a large expansion and so is not truly appropriate for such a large airport. It is then appropriate to claim that YOW is better located then YUL in the long run.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. September 1, 2010 15:22

    A comment from an Air Canada colleague “Dorval is like a cheap cottage you buy when your really young. Through the years, as your family grows, you add a room here, a room there…”

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