Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – Airports with NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, April 2015
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Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations were relatively unchanged (-0.3%) in April 2015 from the same month a year earlier. These 91 airports reported 461,409 movements during the month compared with 462,778 at 92 airports in April 2014.
Marginal increases in itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) were offset by reductions in local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport). Itinerant movements rose slightly (+1.3%) to 321,373, while local movements dropped 3.8% to 140,036.
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 225 movements in April 2014.
Forty seven airports reported increased levels of movements in April 2015. The largest of these gains were recorded at Montréal/St Hubert, Québec (+2,530 movements), Fredericton International, New Brunswick (+2,157), Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International, Saskatchewan (+1,253) and Lethbridge, Alberta (+1,196). Year-over-year variations for those airports reporting decreases of over 1,000 movements ranged from a drop of 3,262 movements at Victoria International, British Columbia to a decline of 1,114 movements at Edmonton International, Alberta.
Itinerant movements rose 1.3% (+4,213 movements) from the same month a year earlier. This growth was concentrated at two airports: Pitt Meadows, British Columbia (+1,136) and Fredericton International (+1,017). The increase was particularly significant at Pitt Meadows as it represented an increase of almost 50% in movements from the previous year.
Local movements fell 3.8% to 140,036 movements led by large declines at Victoria International (-3,278 movements), Winnipeg/St. Andrews, Manitoba (-2,022) and Sault Ste Marie, Ontario (-1,142). Offsetting some of this activity were increased movements at Montréal/St Hubert (+1,884) and Fredericton International (+1,140).
Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international
Domestic (within Canada) itinerant movements reached 267,294 in April 2015, up 1.7% from the same month the previous year. Increased movements at Pitt Meadows (+1,126 movements) and Fredericton International (+1,019) were sufficient to offset declines at Langley, British Columbia (-928) and Edmonton International (-791).
During the month, seventy-eight airports reported 40,205 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, down 3.4% from that recorded in April 2014. The largest decreases were recorded at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (-444 movements), Calgary International, Alberta (-267) and Montreal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau International, Québec (-258) Large relative declines were recorded at both Regina International, Saskatchewan and Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International as their transborder aircraft movements fell 42% and 38% respectively. The largest gain was observed at Vancouver International, British Columbia (+297).
A total of 13,874 other international itinerant movements were reported at forty-five airports, up 8.9% from the previous year. Activity at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, the busiest airport, reached 6,196 movements, an increase of 11.0%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International which recorded 2,349 movements.
Factors influencing the data
On April 23rd, 2015, the main runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport became fully operational after an Air Canada flight crashed the previous month.
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 crashed 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 10 days.
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.
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