Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – Airports with NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, March 2015
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Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations increased 4.9% in March 2015 from the same month a year earlier. These 91 airports reported 451,891 movements during the month. The 430,840 aircraft movements reported by 92 airports in March 2014 represented the lowest level for the month since 1985.
Prince Rupert Airport in British Columbia, while still open, lost its status as a flight service station effective July 24, 2014. This airport accounted for 228 movements in March 2014.
Increases 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 overall gain. Itinerant movements rose 3.7% to 315,026, while local movements grew 7.6% to 136,865.
Overall, the majority of airports reported increased levels of movements in March 2015. The largest of these were recorded at Fredericton International, New Brunswick (+2,965 movements) and Abbotsford, British Columbia (+2,143). The largest year-to-year reductions were noted at Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario (-1,586) and Ottawa/Gatineau, Quebec (-1,073).
Itinerant movements increased 3.7% (+11,331 movements) from the same month a year earlier. This growth was concentrated among three airports, each of which reported gains of over 1,000 movements: Fredericton International (+1,943), Vancouver International, British Columbia (+1,712) and Calgary/Springbank Airport, Alberta (+1,059). The growth was particularly significant at Fredericton International as it represented a 50% increase in movements from the same period the previous year.
In March 2015 there were 136,865 local movements, which represented an increase of 7.6 % (+9,720 movements) compared with March 2014. Year-over-year variations for those airports reporting increases of over 1,000 movements ranged from +1,476 at Abbotsford to +1,022 at Fredericton International. Most notable among these was the more than doubling of local movements at Red Deer Regional, Alberta. Local movements at the airport reached 2,280 during the month from 1,086 in March 2014.
Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international
Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) reached 258,308 in March 2015, up 4.8% from the same month the previous year. The increase in movements at Fredericton International (+1,952 movements), Vancouver International (+1,078) and Calgary/Springbank (+1,048) were sufficient to offset the declines at Langley, British Columbia (-664) and Edmonton International, Alberta (-470). The majority of the airports, 64 in all, reported increases in domestic movements.
Seventy-six airports reported 41,356 transborder itinerant movements (between Canada and the United States), down 3.4% from the same month the previous year. The largest decreases in transborder movements were recorded at Montreal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau International, Quebec (-593 movements), Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (-383) and Calgary International, Alberta (-231). In relative terms, Regina International, Saskatchewan and Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International, Saskatchewan experienced significant declines as their transborder aircraft movements each declined by nearly 50%. The largest gain was observed at Vancouver International (+524).
A total of 15,362 other international itinerant movements were reported at forty-seven airports, up 7.0% from the previous year. Activity at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, the busiest airport, reached 6,531 movements, an increase of 8.5%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International which recorded 2,800 movements.
Factors influencing the data
On March 29th, 2015, Air France launched its inaugural flight from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Vancouver International Airport. The flights will run three days a week and five days a week in summer.
On March 29th, 2015, an Air Canada flight narrowly escaped disaster when the Airbus A320 slammed into the ground 335 metres before the start of the runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport. The airport's main runway remained closed after the crash for approximately two weeks.
Major snowstorms struck Atlantic Canada mid-March 2015, forcing flight delays and cancellations.
Effective February 28th, 2015, United Airlines ended flights between Denver International and Regina International, Saskatchewan and Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International, Saskatchewan airports. United flew two flights each day into the Saskatchewan cities.
On February 16th, 2015, Kelowna International Airport experienced flight delays and cancellations due to fog.
On February 2nd, 2015, a formidable winter storm hit the Greater Toronto Area forcing flight cancellations at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.
Significant winter storms struck Atlantic Canada in February 2015 forcing numerous flight cancellations and delays. During the same time, eastern Ontario and southwestern Quebec recorded colder than normal temperatures.
A lake-effect snow band off Lake Ontario hit Halton and Hamilton, Ontario, forcing about 40 flight cancellations at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport on January 26th, 2015.
January 2015 was marked by extreme cold, heavy snow and freezing rain conditions across Canada forcing delays and flight cancellations at many airports.
Air Canada launched a new non-stop seasonal service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Mont-Tremblant, Quebec. Air Canada Express will operate four weekly flights between December 18th, 2014 and March 30th, 2015.
Air Canada inaugurated new non-stop service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The new service will be offered three days a week starting December 12th, 2014.
All flights at Vancouver International Airport were briefly grounded November 30th, 2014 after a water leak at the air traffic control centre.
On November 26th, 2014, Air Canada rouge commenced non-stop flights between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Honolulu, Hawaii. The new service will be offered twice weekly.
A light snowfall combined with blowing snow delayed and cancelled a number of flights departing Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport on November 19th, 2014.
The world’s longest and heaviest aircraft, the six-engine Antonov An-225 Mriya, made its first appearance at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport on November 17th, 2014. The aircraft is approximately 275 feet long with a maximum takeoff weight of 640 tonnes.
A simulated air crash took place in October 2014 on one of the runways at the Montréal/Saint-Hubert Airport. The exercise was designed to test the effectiveness of the emergency measures plan, in accordance with Transport Canada requirements.
Effective July 24th, 2014, NAV CANADA terminated the services provided by the Flight Service Station located at Prince Rupert Airport. The airport remains operational.
On July 23rd and 24th, 2014, Air Canada halted flights to Tel Aviv, Israel due to a rocket strike near its main airport.
On June 28th, 2014, Calgary International Airport opened a new runway. The new runway will be the longest in Canada, capable of landing the largest aircraft in the world with fewer payload restrictions.
Effective June 27th, 2014, WestJet Encore began service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Thunder Bay Airport, as well as service between Thunder Bay Airport and Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport.
As of June 25th, 2014, China Eastern Airlines commenced flights from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Shanghai, China to supplement increasing demand for flights to and from Chinese destinations. And Cathay Pacific Airline, which has been flying out of Vancouver for 31 years, flies twice-daily non-stop from Vancouver International Airport to Hong Kong. The airline also offers flights 10 times a week between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Hong Kong.
Starting June 24th, 2014, WestJet commenced non-stop service twice per week between Las Vegas, Nevada and Fort McMurray Airport.
Effective June 20th, 2014, Canadian North Airlines began a seasonal non-stop flight service between Iqaluit Airport and Halifax/Robert L. Stanfield International Airport, with same plane service to St John’s International.
On June 15th, 2014, WestJet launched its first transatlantic flight between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Dublin, Ireland. The inaugural flight stopped at St John’s International Airport for refueling.
On June 1st, 2014, British Airways began to operate 19 flights per week between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and London, England, with the introduction of additional flights on Wednesdays, Saturdays and Sundays.
Beginning May 12th, 2014, WestJet Encore added new daily non-stop service between Fort McMurray Airport and Kelowna Airport and between Fort McMurray and Vancouver International Airport.
As of May 1st, 2014, Air Canada rouge began flying year-round service between Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport and Dublin, Ireland.
Air Canada rouge will operate five new routes from Vancouver International Airport by the end of 2014, beginning with a daily service to Las Vegas, Nevada on April 28th. The airline will also offer daily services to Los Angeles, California (beginning May 1st), Anchorage, Alaska (beginning May 16th), San Francisco, California (beginning July 1st) and Phoenix, Arizona (beginning December 17th).
Effective April 1st, 2014, Bearskin Airlines cancelled its service from Kitchener-Waterloo Airport to Ottawa/ Macdonald-Cartier International Airport.
On March 12th, 2014 a significant winter storm struck Eastern Canada forcing dozens of flight cancellations and delays at Eastern Canadian airports.
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