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Aircraft movement statistics: Major airports, March 2019

Released: 2019-05-30

Aircraft movements, total movements


March 2019

10.4% increase

(year-over-year change)

Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAVCANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations increased 10.4% in March. Combined, 90 airports reported 506,637 movements, compared with 91 airports totalling 458,844 movements in March 2018.

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 6.6% to 340,046 and local movements grew 19.0% to 166,591.

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) were 279,650 in March, a 7.7% increase compared with the same month the previous year. Transborder movements (between Canada and the United States) edged up 0.6% to 41,545 movements, while other international traffic was up 5.2% to 18,851 movements.

In March, 10 airports accounted for 39.4% of total activity. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the nation's busiest airport, reported 38,804 movements, a decrease of 4.9% compared with March 2018. This was followed by Vancouver International, British Columbia, which reported 26,860 movements (-1.3%) and Boundary Bay, British Columbia, with 20,940 movements (+53.5%).

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, March 2019
Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, March 2019

  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 NAVCANADA Air Traffic Control Tower or a NAVCANADA Flight Service Station.

On January 3, 2019, the air traffic control tower at Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport, Ontario, was officially closed, reducing the number of Canadian airports with NAVCANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations from 91 to 90. Starting in January 2019, movements for Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport will be excluded from Major Airport movements. Data prior to January 2019 will continue to be available.

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

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 – NAVCANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, March 2019," 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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