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    Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – Airports with NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, May 2015

    Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – Airports with NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, May 2015

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    Analysis

    Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations declined 1.6% in May 2015 from the same month a year earlier. These 91 airports reported 515,111 movements during the month compared with 523,418 at 92 airports in May 2014.

    Increased itinerant movements (flights from one airport to another) were insufficient to offset a decline in local movements (flights that remain in the vicinity of the airport). Itinerant movements rose 1.8% to 367,372, while local movements dropped 9.1% to 147,739.

    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 323 movements in May 2014.

    Overall, the majority of airports reported more movements in May 2015. The largest gains were recorded at Moncton/Greater Moncton International, New Brunswick (+3,244 movements), Pitt Meadows, British Columbia (+2,495), Fredericton International, New Brunswick (+1,298) and Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario (+1,163). Year-over-year variations for those airports reporting decreases of over 2,000 movements ranged from a drop of 3,247 movements at Toronto/Buttonville Municipal, Ontario to a decline of 2,038 movements at Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International, Ontario. The drop in movements at Toronto/Buttonville may be attributed to its potential closure in late 2016.

    Itinerant movements rose 1.8% (+6,566 movements) from the same month a year earlier. This growth was concentrated at two airports: Pitt Meadows, British Columbia (+2,247) and Fredericton International (+1,534). The increase was particularly significant at Pitt Meadows as it represented an increase of 73% in movements from the previous year. The largest decline (-1,120) was reported at St. Jean, Quebec.

    Local movements declined 9.1% (-14,873 movements) as forty-nine airports reported fewer movements in May 2015. Year-over-year variations for those airports reporting decreases of over 1,000 movements ranged from -2,985 at Victoria International, British Columbia to -1,170 at Prince George, British Columbia. A large increase was recorded at Moncton International, where movements more than doubled (+132.5%) to reach 4,264 movements.

    Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international

    Domestic (within Canada) itinerant movements reached 314,179 in May 2015, up 2.0% from the same month the previous year. Increased movements at Pitt Meadows (+2,226 movements), Fredericton International (+1,525) and Prince George (+1,045) were sufficient to offset declines at St-Jean, Quebec
    (-1,120).

    During the month, eighty-two airports reported 41,113 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, down 1.6% from the level recorded in May 2014. Slight decreases in transborder movements at Edmonton International (-207 movements), Montreal/Pierre Elliot Trudeau International, Québec (-195), Regina International, Saskatchewan (-192) and Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International, Saskatchewan (-191) were sufficient to offset small gains at Vancouver International, British Columbia (+444) and Toronto/Lester B Pearson International (+137). Transborder movements at both major airports in Saskatchewan have dropped as United Airlines ended flights between the cities and a few US markets.

    In May 2015, fifty-three airports reported a total of 12,080 other international itinerant movements, up 10.1% from May 2014. The gain resulted from growth of 11.2% at Canada’s busiest airport, Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, which reported 5,837 other international itinerant movements during the month. The third largest gain in movements (+119 movements) was recorded at St John’s International, Newfoundland and Labrador. Aircraft movements at the airport rose 50%, largely due to the introduction of non-stop Westjet flights to Dublin, Ireland.

    Factors influencing the data

    On May 29th, 2015, WestJet began seasonal service from Halifax Stanfield International Airport, Nova Scotia to Glasgow, Scotland. The service will run until October 24, 2015.

    Firefighting crews battled a large forest fire southwest of Prince George, British Columbia in mid-May 2015. More than 200 fire personnel, 13 helicopters, 30 pieces of heavy equipment and eight air tankers were involved in battling the fire.    

    Air Canada rouge inaugurated a new route from Montreal Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport, Quebec to Venice Marco Polo Airport, Italy on May 15th, 2015. The service will operate twice-weekly.

    Kenmore Air, an airline based in Seattle, Washington, suspended its service to Nanaimo Airport, British Columbia on May 4th, 2015.

    On May 1st, 2015, WestJet began seasonal service from St. John’s International Airport, Newfoundland and Labrador, to Dublin, Ireland. This service will run until October 24th, 2015.

    On May 1st, 2015, Air Canada expanded its international and domestic routes at four Canadian airports. New services were launched from Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia to Osaka, Japan and to Comox Airport, British Columbia. As well, new routes started from Calgary International Airport, Alberta to Nanaimo Airport and to Halifax Stanfield International Airport.

    On April 23rd, 2015, the main runway at Halifax Stanfield International Airport became fully operational after an Air Canada flight crashed on March 29th. The runway was completely closed for about 10 days during this period.

    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.

    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, British Columbia 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, Ontario and Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport, Ontario.

    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, Quebec. The exercise was designed to test the effectiveness of the emergency measures plan, in accordance with Transport Canada requirements.

    As of September 30th 2014, United Airlines discontinued direct flights between Chicago and Regina International and Saskatoon/John G. Diefenbaker International airports.

    Effective July 24th, 2014, NAV CANADA terminated the services provided by the Flight Service Station located at Prince Rupert Airport, British Columbia. 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, Ontario as well as service between Thunder Bay Airport and Winnipeg/James Armstrong Richardson International Airport, Manitoba.

    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, Alberta.

    Effective June 20th, 2014, Canadian North Airlines began a seasonal non-stop flight service between Iqaluit Airport and Halifax Stanfield International Airport, with same plane service to St John’s International, Newfoundland and Labrador.

    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.

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