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In 1968, Statistics Canada published its first Airport Activity Statistics publication. Over the next 20 years, changes occurring in the industry and regulations prompted changes in the survey methodology and publication format. On January 1st, 1988 the National Transportation Act, 1987, came into effect. Changes in the statistical reporting requirements for air carriers prompted a review of the content and presentation of the Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports publication (catalogue 51-005).

In response to these changes, a new format was introduced for the publication beginning with the first quarter 1989 issue. The publication now displays preliminary data for the current reference year and revised data for the previous year.

The redesigned Air Carrier Traffic at Canadian Airports publication continued most of the past data series and in addition, incorporated data on regional and local scheduled services to complement the data previously published on Canadian and foreign carriers' major scheduled services and major charter services. This provided a comprehensive overview of air traffic activity at Canadian airports.

It should be noted that, prior to the changes in the statistical reporting requirements, this publication provided data on both revenue and non-revenue passengers. However, carriers are now required to report only revenue passengers, and, as such, all references to passengers in this publication refer to revenue passengers.

Beginning in 1995, this publication was only produced annually with the new catalogue number 51-203.

Starting in 2003, the content of this publication was reduced significantly. More specifically, most tables providing data by type of services (major scheduled services, regional/local scheduled services and major charter services) were eliminated. This change is due to the concerns expressed by carriers in the current context of increased commercial sensitivity of aviation data. In addition, table 1-1 is now showing the top 50 airports, compared to the top 100 airports previously published. Some of the data that used to be available in these tables may still be obtained by contacting the Aviation Statistics Centre, Transportation Division.

Beginning with 2007 data and coinciding with the national roll-out of the Transport Canada Electronic Collection of Air Transportation Statistics (ECATS) project, data are reported electronically to Transport Canada and shared with Statistics Canada.

With 2012, passenger and cargo data are now available in CANSIM.

Note to Users

Cargo data

It is important to note that the air cargo data presented in the Table 2 series does not represent the total cargo loaded and unloaded in Canada. Comprehensive cargo data are not collected for the following reasons:

i. the regional and local scheduled carriers do not file cargo data on the airport activity survey and,

ii. the major charter survey does not collect data on domestic courier cargo or domestic entity cargo flights.

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