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Aircraft movement statistics: Major airports, December 2018

Released: 2019-02-27

Aircraft movements, total movements


December 2018

8.7% increase

(year-over-year change)

Aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations increased 8.7% in December to 387,035 movements, compared with 355,899 movements in December 2017.

A rise in both itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) and local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) contributed to the year-over-year increase. Itinerant movements increased 5.1% to 284,017 and local movements grew 20.3% to 103,018. This was the second largest year-over-year increase in local movements since December 2014.

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) increased 5.5% year over year to 228,233 in December. Transborder movements (between Canada and the United States) rose 3.4% to 39,454 movements, while other international traffic was up 3.5% to 16,330 movements.

In December, 10 airports accounted for 42.2% of total activity. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the nation's busiest airport, reported 37,498 movements, down 1.1% compared with December 2017. This was followed by Vancouver International, British Columbia, which reported 25,836 movements (+3.1%) and Calgary International, Alberta, with 20,140 movements (+5.5%).

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, December 2018
Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, December 2018

  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, landing, or 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, December 2018," 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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