The Daily
 In the news  Indicators  Releases by subject
 Special interest  Release schedule  Information

Aircraft movement statistics: Major airports – Annual report, 2018

Released: 2019-05-16

Annual aircraft movements, total movements

5.7 million


3.2% increase

(annual change)

The number of aircraft take-offs and landings at the 91 Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations totalled 5.7 million in 2018, up 3.2% compared with 2017.

Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (475,775 movements), Vancouver International, British Columbia (339,441), and Calgary International, Alberta (244,029), were the busiest airports in 2018, representing 18.4% of the total movements at major airports.

Both itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) and local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) increased in 2018. Itinerant movements were up 1.5% to 4.1 million, while local movements rose 7.6% to 1.7 million. This was the largest increase in local movements since 2007.

There were 3.4 million domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) in 2018, an increase of 1.1% (+38,206 movements) compared with 2017.

Transborder itinerant movements (between Canada and the United States) at 91 airports totalled 493,774 movements, up 2.5% from the previous year.

For the seventh consecutive year, other international traffic rose, with 68 airports reporting 187,372 other international itinerant movements. This represents an increase of 6.3% (+11,184 movements) compared with 2017. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International and Vancouver International led the growth, with increases of 3,948 movements (+5.0%) and 3,858 movements (+13.3%), respectively.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, 2018
Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, 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, a landing, or a simulated approach by an aircraft as defined by NAV CANADA.

Data for 2014 to 2018 have been revised.


Additional analytical information is now available in "Annual Aircraft Movements: Major airports – NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, 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;

Date modified: