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Airport activity, 2018

Released: 2019-07-25

Passengers enplaned and deplaned in Canada

159.0 million


5.4% increase

(year-over-year change)

The number of passengers enplaned and deplaned at Canadian airports reached 159 million in 2018, an increase of 5.4% compared with the previous year. This marked the ninth consecutive annual increase in air passenger traffic following the economic slowdown of 2009.

The largest airports contributed significantly to the strong growth in passenger traffic, with Toronto/Lester B. Pearson up 5.2%, Vancouver International up 6.9%, Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau up 6.8% and Calgary International up 6.6%.

All sectors experienced growth in 2018: the domestic sector expanded 4.2% (+3.7 million passengers), other international traffic was up 7.9% (+2.6 million) and transborder traffic (between Canada and the United States) increased 6.4% (+1.9 million).

For the fifth consecutive year, growth in other international passenger traffic outpaced the other two sectors. This was driven by strong gains at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson (+7.5%), Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau (+9.3%) and Vancouver International (+10.5%). These three airports accounted for 89% of the 35.6 million passengers who enplaned on and deplaned off international flights in Canada.

The weight of cargo loaded and unloaded at Canadian airports increased 8.9% in 2018 to just over 1.4 million tonnes. Domestic cargo increased 3.9% to 600,000 tonnes. Other international tonnages increased 17.2% to 591 000 tonnes, while transborder cargo was up 3.4% to 243 000 tonnes.

Chart 1  Chart 1: Passengers enplaned and deplaned at top 5 Canadian airports
Passengers enplaned and deplaned at top 5 Canadian airports

Chart 2  Chart 2: Air passenger traffic by sector
Air passenger traffic by sector

  Note to readers

This survey collects data on passengers enplaned and deplaned and cargo loaded and unloaded at Canadian airports.

With each release, data for the previous reference year may be revised.

Cargo data: It is important to note that the air cargo data presented do not represent the total cargo loaded and unloaded in Canada. Comprehensive cargo data are not collected for the following reasons: (1) the regional and local scheduled carriers do not file cargo data on the Airport Activity Survey, and (2) the major charter survey does not collect data on domestic courier cargo or domestic entity cargo flights.


Additional analytical information is now available in "Airport Activity: Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports," 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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