The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport has become the first major airport in the country to groove a runway.

Construction wrapped up on one of the three airport runways on Thursday. The 2,400-metre runway was grooved as part of a full reconstruction of the east-west landing strip.

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The Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier International Airport has become the first major airport in the country to groove a runway. (CBC)

The grooves are six-millimetre-wide and 6-millimetre-deep cuts that run along the asphalt 38 mm apart over the entire length of the runway. The grooving is supposed to improve drainage and provide increased friction to improve safety.

The grooves are not required in Canada, although many American airports add grooving to their runways, according to Krista Kealey, spokeswoman for the Ottawa International Airport Authority.

"For us it made sense because the runways required reconstruction," said Kealey.

"They were getting towards the end of their life cycle and you know you go through these kinds of construction projects from time to time."

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Grooves improve drainage and provide increased friction for airport runways. (CBC)

The airport's longer runway, which is 3,000 metres, will be upgraded and grooved next summer.

Kealey said she believes other major airports in the country will start putting grooves into their runways.

"I'm sure we will see more happening, it's just a matter of when," she said. "Chances are that at some point it will become a regulation."