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Aircraft movement statistics: Major airports, September 2017

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Released: 2017-11-30

Aircraft movements, total movements


September 2017

1.1% increase

(year-over-year change)

There were 506,030 aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations compared with 500,675 movements in September 2016.

Itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) increased 2.1% in September 2017 on a year-over-year basis to reach 367,221. During the same period, the level of local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) fell 1.5% to 138,809.

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) rose 2.2% from the same month in 2016 to 311,767 in September. The state of emergency in British Columbia first declared in early July remained in effect until September 15, the province's worst fire season on record. With a 105% increase in movements compared with September 2016, Williams Lake posted the largest year-over-year growth for the third consecutive month (+827 movements). As the home to the Cariboo Fire Centre's main office, the airport is one of the busiest wildfire response jurisdictions in British Columbia. Transborder movements (between Canada and the United States) decreased 0.7% to 41,492, while other international traffic increased 7.1% to 13,962 movements.

In September, 10 airports accounted for 37.7% of total activity. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the nation's busiest airport, reported 40,516 movements, up 0.6% compared with September 2016. This was followed by Vancouver International, British Columbia, which recorded 29,029 (+0.6%) movements, and Montréal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau, Quebec, with 20,714 (+4.3%) 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, September 2017
Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, September 2017

Chart 3  Chart 3: Domestic itinerant movements at Williams Lake
Domestic itinerant movements at Williams 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, September 2017," as part of the service bulletin Aviation (Catalogue number51-004-X).

Contact information

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