Airport Watch Program
Crime Prevention Programs at Ottawa International Airport
When you travel near any major airport in the world, you can usually find a group of aircraft enthusiasts, known as "Airport Spotters." These Airport Spotters photograph and log the different aircraft, which come and go as a hobby.
In 1999, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Ottawa Police Service and the Ottawa International Airport teamed up to recruit the Airport Spotters in and around the Airport to form an Airport Watch. As these volunteers were already a fixture along the perimeter fence, and were familiar with the normal activities of an airport, they were enthusiastic about working with law enforcement to ensure security of the facility.
These volunteers are encouraged by police to immediately report any suspicious activities to the Airport's Security Operations Centre. The police are then dispatched to investigate. These volunteers closely follow their motto, "Observe, Record, Report." They never take direct action.
The program in Ottawa has been so successful, that airports in Halifax, Vancouver and Toronto have begun similar programs.