In 1999, the Ottawa International Airport Authority, in partnership with the Ottawa Police Services (OPS) and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), developed the first Airport Watch Program in Canada.
The Ottawa Airport Watch is composed of people who have an interest Members on site in various aspects of aviation and who spend time in the vicinity of the Macdonald-Cartier Airport to observe the various airport operations.
Some members also combine their aviation "spotting" activities with their photography hobby to produce very interesting photos, some of which are found on various internet sites dedicated to aviation topics.
Airport Watch volunteers are sometimes referred to as the airports Neighborhood Watch Program.
Members monitor general aviation procedures, the condition of the fencing, wildlife activity, parking lots, suspicious behaviours and foreign object debris (FOD) while they enjoy their favorite pastime. They are simply an extra pair of eyes and ears outside the perimeter fence.
Their sole task is to "Observe, Record and Report". Historically, the Ottawa Airport Watch program has recorded as much as 3800 volunteer hours annually.
The Ottawa Airport Watch is a member of the International Airport Watch Association.
The International Airport Watch Association (IAWA) is an organization that identifies and assists with the organization of Airport Watch chapters throughout the world. As the founding chapter, the Ottawa Airport Watch, or the "Ottawa Model" as it is referred to, contributes to IAWA's efforts in that regard.