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Aircraft movement statistics: Major airports, August 2017

Released: 2017-10-30

Aircraft movements, total movements


August 2017

3.3% increase

(year-over-year change)

There were 555,911 aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations in August, compared with 538,254 movements in August 2016.

Itinerant movements (fights from one airport to another) increased in August 2017 on a year-over-year basis, while local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) declined. Itinerant movements rose 5.2% to 416,376 and local movements decreased 2.1% to 139,535.

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) rose to 355,721 in August, up 5.7% from the same month the previous year. For the second consecutive month this growth was led by Williams Lake, British Columbia (+2,888 movements). Wildfires in British Columbia worsened in August. By mid-month, the province declared that 894,491 hectares had burned since April 1, 2017. This surpassed the previous record (855,000) reported in 1958. Traffic at the Williams Lake airport was dominated by aircraft engaged in fire suppression activities in the surrounding area. Transborder movements (between Canada and the United States) increased 1.4% to reach 44,967 movements. In addition, other international traffic increased 6.8% to reach 15,688 movements.

In August 2017, 10 airports accounted for 37.4% of total activity. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the nation's busiest airport, reported 43,503 movements, an increase of 1.2% compared to August 2016. This was followed by Vancouver International, British Columbia, which recorded 35,617 (+6.0%) movements and Montréal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Quebec with 22,324 (+6.8%) movements.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Total aircraft movements at major airports
Total aircraft movements at major airports

Chart 2  Chart 2: Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, August 2017
Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, August 2017

Chart 3  Chart 3: Domestic itinerant movements at William's Lake
Domestic itinerant movements at William's Lake

  Note to readers

This survey collects data on itinerant and local aircraft movements at major airports in Canada.

Major airports include all airports with either a NAV CANADA Air Traffic Control Tower or a NAV CANADA Flight Service Station.

An aircraft movement is defined as a take-off, a landing, or a simulated approach by an aircraft as defined by NAV CANADA.

Data for the same month in the previous year may have been revised.

Annual estimates are released each year.

The data in this monthly release are not seasonally adjusted.


Additional analytical information is now available in "Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, August 2017," as part of the service bulletin Aviation (Catalogue number51-004-X).

Contact information

For more information, or to enquire about the concepts, methods or data quality of this release, contact us (toll-free 1-800-263-1136; 514-283-8300; or Media Relations (613-951-4636;

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