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Aircraft movement statistics: Major airports, May 2019

Released: 2019-07-25

Aircraft movements, total movements


May 2019

-0.9% decrease

(year-over-year change)

Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations decreased 0.9% in May. Combined, 90 airports reported 564,233 movements, compared with 91 airports totalling 569,532 movements in May 2018.

A decrease in itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) contributed to the year-over-year decline, while local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport) increased. Itinerant movements were down 3.5% to 378,085, and local movements rose 4.7% to 186,148.

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) decreased to 322,131 in May, a 4.1% decline compared with the same month the previous year. Transborder movements (between Canada and the United States) edged down 0.8% to 41,516 movements, while other international traffic was up 3.0% to 14,438 movements.

In May, 10 airports accounted for 36.2% of total activity. Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the nation's busiest airport, reported 38,837 movements, a decrease of 5.3% compared with May 2018. This was followed by Vancouver International, British Columbia, which reported 28,167 movements (-3.0%) and Boundary Bay, British Columbia, with 21,710 movements (-7.1%).

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, May 2019
Total aircraft movements at top 10 Canadian airports, May 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 NAV CANADA air traffic control tower or a NAV CANADA 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 NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations from 91 to 90. Starting in January 2019, movements for Toronto/Buttonville Municipal Airport were 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 NAV CANADA.

Data for the same month in the previous year may have been revised.

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, May 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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