Aviation
Monthly Aircraft Movements: Major airports – NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations, October 2015

Release date: December 17, 2015

Analysis

Aircraft take-offs and landings at Canadian airports with NAV CANADA air traffic control towers and flight service stations increased 3.4% in October 2015 from the same month a year earlier. These 91 airports reported 475,107 movements during the month compared with 459,436 movements in October 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 growth. Itinerant movements rose 1.6% to 334,532 while local movements grew 8.1% to 140,575.

Overall, the majority of airports reported more movements in October 2015. Airports which recorded gains of greater than 2,000 movements included Montréal/St-Hubert, Quebec (+4,698 movements), Pitt Meadows, British Columbia (+3,342), Boundary Bay, British Columbia (+2,368), Moncton/Greater Moncton International, New Brunswick (+2,354) and Fredericton International, New Brunswick, (+2,088). Conversely, the largest year-to-year reductions were noted at Thunder Bay, Ontario (-2,640) and Victoria International, British Columbia (-2,426).

Itinerant movements increased 1.6% (+5,177 movements) from the same month a year earlier. Although gains were recorded at most airports, they were primarily concentrated at Montréal/St-Hubert (+2,140) and Pitt Meadows (+1,732). Airports with declines of more than 1,000 movements included Fort McMurray, Alberta (-1,476), Edmonton International, Alberta (-1,116) and Vancouver International, British Columbia (-1,062).

Local movements rose 8.1% (+10,494 movements) as fifty-two airports reported more movements in October 2015. Year-over-year variations ranged from an increase of 2,558 movements (+39.1%) at Montréal/St-Hubert to a drop of 2,760 movements (-43.8%) at Victoria International.

Itinerant movements: domestic, transborder and international

Domestic itinerant movements (within Canada) reached 282,840 in October 2015, up 2.3% from the same month the previous year. Increased movements at Montréal/St Hubert (+2,167 movements) and Pitt Meadows (+1,727) were sufficient to offset a decline at Fort McMurray (-1,478).

During the month, eighty-two airports reported 40,769 transborder (between Canada and the United States) itinerant movements, down 4.5% from the level recorded in October 2014. The largest decreases were reported at Vancouver International (-468 movements) and Edmonton International (-284). The largest gain was observed at Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City, Ontario (+98). The increase can be attributed to the introduction by Porter Airlines of non-stop service between Billy Bishop and Pittsburgh in September 2015.

In October 2015, forty-one airports reported a total of 10,923 other international itinerant movements, up 6.0% from October 2014.  Activity at Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International, Ontario, the busiest airport, reached 5,254 movements, an increase of 3.8%, followed by Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International (2,057 movements), Quebec and Vancouver International (1,667). Together, these three airports represented 82% of all other international itinerant movements during the month.

Factors influencing the data

On October 29th, 2015, WestJet launched non-stop service from Abbotsford, British Columbia to Las Vegas, Nevada. The flights will operate twice-weekly.

On September 29th, 2015, Air China, in cooperation with Air Canada, launched a new direct flight connecting Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport to Beijing, China. The flights will be operated by Air China initially three times per week.

Bearskin Airlines, on September 28th, 2015, rolled out 23 new weekly non-stop flights between Sudbury Airport and Timmins, North Bay, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay, Ontario.

Porter Airlines inaugurated a non-stop flight from Toronto/Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to Pittsburgh on September 21st, 2015. The airline will operate two daily weekday flights from Toronto. Weekend service includes one roundtrip on Saturday and two on Sunday.

On September 8th, 2015, WestJet began a new non-stop service between Calgary International Airport and Houston, Texas. The airline will operate six flights per week.

Air China Cargo, on September 3rd, 2015, launched service to Edmonton International from Shanghai, China and Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas. The flights will operate six times a week, with three flights from Dallas and three from Shanghai. 

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 6,654 fires covering 3,953,056 hectares as of August 31, 2015, more fires and a bit more area than a month earlier. In 2014, the agency had recorded 4,681 fires encompassing 4,549,459 hectares by the end of August.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 5,766 fires covering 3,889,663 hectares as of July 31, 2015. This represents an increase from the previous year when 3,331 fires and 1,606,278 hectares were recorded. In several cases, particularly in Western Canada, air support was deployed to assist ground crews.

WestJet Encore, on July 15th, 2015, launched new daily non-stop flights from Halifax Robert L. Stanfield International Airport to Deer Lake Regional Airport and Gander International Airport in Newfoundland and Labrador, and to Sydney Airport, Nova Scotia. The airline also inaugurated new daily non-stop service between Moncton/Greater Moncton International Airport, New Brunswick, and Ottawa/Macdonald-Cartier International Airport, Ontario.

On July 7th, 2015, the Greater Moncton International Airport and KF Aerospace announced a new cargo service. KF Aerospace routes will include four times a week service between Moncton and Europe via Brussels (DC10-30F), and future expansion will see daily service between Toronto and Atlantic Canada via Greater Moncton International Airport.

In early July 2015, a rare, lingering fog and thick ice caused major delays in food shipments to Iqaluit, Nunavut. Cargo planes and combo planes (planes that carry cargo and passengers) were not able to fly in or out of Iqaluit Airport.

Dozens of flights out of Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport were cancelled July 3rd, 2015 due to a labour disruption between the airlines and their fuelling companies.

The Canadian Interagency Forest Fire Centre Inc. reported 4,076 fires covering 1,352,282 hectares as of June 30, 2015. This represents an increase from the previous year when 1,977 fires and 414,722 hectares were recorded. In several cases, particularly in Western Canada, air support was deployed to assist ground crews.

Air Canada rouge, on June 27th, 2015, began a new non-stop daily seasonal service from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International Airport to Abbotsford International Airport.

Air Canada, on June 5th, 2015, further expanded its global network with routes from Toronto/Lester B. Pearson International to Amsterdam and from Montréal/Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport to Mexico City.

On June 1st, 2015, Air Canada launched its new non-stop daily service between Calgary International, Alberta and Northwest Regional Airport Terrace-Kitimat, British Columbia.

On June 1st, 2015, the main runway at St. John’s International Airport closed to allow for several upgrades, including resurfacing and the addition of new lighting, with in-tandem work by NAV CANADA in establishing the new Category 3 instrument landing systems (Cat 3 ILS). The closure of the runway may result in flights being delayed or diverted. The runway is expected to reopen, in part, September 30th, 2015.

First Air announced it is increasing the number of flights from Edmonton International, Alberta to Yellowknife, Northwest Territories from six per week to nine per week, with an additional flight on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The service will start June 1st, 2015.

On May 30th and 31st, 2015, Fort McMurray Airport experienced numerous flight cancellations and delays due to a nearby fire in Saprae Creek that caused airspace to be restricted for a portion of the airport’s runway. 

On May 29th, 2015, WestJet began seasonal service from Halifax Robert L. 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 Montréal/Pierre Elliott 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 Robert L. Stanfield International Airport.

On April 23rd, 2015, the main runway at Halifax Robert L. 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 in 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.

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