Airport Activity Survey
Detailed information for 2015
The purpose of this business survey is to provide estimates of passengers enplaned and deplaned and cargo loaded and unloaded at Canadian airports.
Data release - July 26, 2016
The survey collects data from air carriers operating in Canada. Air carriers are required to file their data via one of three statements, according to their type of operation.
Large scheduled carriers file their data via statement 6. The data are reported in traffic flow format. Data collected includes notably the last stop/next stop, flight number, number of revenue passengers and cargo weight.
Small scheduled carriers file their data via statement 4. Data reported include the origin and destination of passengers transported by the reporting carrier.
Air carriers offering charter services file their charter data via statement 2. Data reported include origin and destination data for passenger and cargo operations.
Transport Canada uses the data for measuring activity at major airports, for evaluating their capacity and for developing an overall planning strategy for Canada's airports. The information is also used by the Canadian Transportation Agency for evaluating the adequacy of air services and by Statistics Canada for providing estimates of provincial passenger and cargo flows.
This statistical activity is part of a set of surveys measuring various aspects of activities related to movement of people and goods. These surveys are grouped as follows:
Transportation by air includes records related to the movement of aircraft, passengers and cargo by air for both Canadian and foreign air carriers operating in Canada as well as the financial and operating characteristics of Canadian air carriers. These data are produced by the Aviation Statistics Centre.
Transportation by rail includes records relating to rail transportation in Canada and between the United States and Canada.
Transportation by road includes records relating to all road transport in Canada. In addition to surveying carriers and owners of registered motor vehicles, certain programs rely on aggregation of provincial and territorial administrative records.
Collection period: One month after reference period
- Transportation by air
- Travel and tourism
Data sources and methodology
Statement 6 (also formerly referred to as Daily Airport Activities Report) covers the scheduled domestic and international services operated by the Level I Canadian air carriers. Also included are data from other Canadian carriers and foreign carriers operating scheduled services within, into or out of Canada using aircraft with a maximum take-off weight greater than 30,000 kg.
Statement 4 (also formerly referred to as Coupon Passenger Origin and Destination Report) covers the scheduled passenger services operated by regional and local Canadian air carriers (level II, III, and IV) and the scheduled passenger services by foreign air carriers using aircraft with maximum take-off weight of less than 30,000 kg.
Statement 2 (also formerly referred to as Charter On-Flight Origin and Destination Report) covers Canadian and foreign air carriers that perform domestic or international commercial charter services using aircraft with a maximum take-off weight greater than 15,900 kg. The survey also covers Canadian and foreign air carriers that perform commercial charter services between Canada and United States using aircrafts with a maximum take-off weight greater than 8,200 kg.
The Statements have remained stable over the years, although the format and wording has been modified to maintain its relevance based on feedback from survey respondents and data users.
This survey is a census with a cross-sectional design.
Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.
Responding to this survey is mandatory.
Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.
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 under Section 12 of the Statistics Act.
Statement 6 (also formerly referred to as Daily Airport Activities Report) covers the scheduled domestic and international services operated by the Level I Canadian air carriers. Also included are data from other Canadian carriers and foreign carriers operating scheduled services within, into or out of Canada using aircraft with a maximum take-off weight greater than 30,000 kg. The survey data are filed on a census basis and are reported in the traffic flow format.
Statement 4 (also formerly referred to as Coupon Passenger Origin and Destination Report) covers the scheduled passenger services operated by regional and local Canadian air carriers (level II, III, and IV) and the scheduled passenger services by foreign air carriers using aircraft with maximum take-off weight of less than 30,000 kg. The survey data are collected on a census basis. Data are reported on an origin and destination basis (that is, the passengers' origin and destination on the reporting carrier's system) from Canadian carriers assigned to Reporting Levels II, III, and IV. Foreign air carriers operating unit toll international scheduled services using fixed wing aircraft having a maximum take-off weight not greater than 30,000 kg also report. The Aviation Statistics Centre converts the data into the enplaned and deplaned format.
Statement 2 (also formerly referred to as Charter On-Flight Origin and Destination Report) covers Canadian and foreign air carriers that perform domestic or international commercial charter services using aircraft with a maximum take-off weight greater than 15,900 kg. The survey also covers Canadian and foreign air carriers that perform commercial charter services between Canada and United States using aircrafts with a maximum take-off weight greater than 8,200 kg. Data are reported on a census basis and are reported in the on-flight origin and destination format (that is, the passengers are reported according to their own origin and destination and not necessarily according to the routing of the flight).
View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s).
Upon receipt of the data, the Aviation Statistics Centre (ASC) of Statistics Canada applies its own edit programs at the micro-data level. These programs conduct quality checks to determine the quality and legitimacy of the information contained within flight records. Aviation Statistics Centre personnel then correct invalid entries, impute for missing data, tabulate and prepare the data for publication.
Imputation is performed at the level of the individual air carrier on the basis of observed performance under similar operating conditions.
All units in the observed population are being surveyed. Estimation of totals is done by simple aggregation of the values of all estimation units that are found in the domain of estimation. Estimates are computed for several domains of estimation such as industrial groups and provinces/territories, based on the most recent classification information available for the estimation unit and the survey reference period. It should be noted that this classification information may differ from the original sampling classification since records may have changed in size, industry or location. Changes in classification are reflected immediately in the estimates.
The evaluation of the quality of the Airport Activity Statistics includes the comparison with results of other Aviation surveys conducted in the Aviation Statistics Centre. For each carrier, flight segments, number of passengers, available seats and volume of goods carried are compared to similar statistics collected from the Air Carriers Operations in Canada Quarterly Survey (record number 2712), Canadian Civil Aviation - Annual Report (record number 2713) and the Aircraft Movement Statistics data (record number 2715). The evaluation of data quality also includes comparison to data available from other sources, including the airport authorities.
Revisions and seasonal adjustment
Estimates are provided for the reference year and the previous reference year is revised if necessary. The data are not seasonally adjusted.
While considerable effort is made to ensure high standards throughout all stages of collection and processing, the resulting estimates are inevitably subject to a certain degree of error. These errors can be broken down into two major types: non-sampling and sampling. Since the survey is a census of the target population, only non-sampling errors are possible.
Non-sampling errors may occur for many reasons. For example, non-response is an important source of non-sampling error. Population coverage, differences in the interpretation of questions, incorrect information from respondents, and mistakes in recording, coding and processing data are other examples of non-sampling errors.
Non-sampling errors are controlled through a careful design of the questionnaire, the use of a minimal number of simple concepts and consistency checks. Coverage error was minimized by using multiple sources to update the frame. Measures such as response rates are used as indicators of the possible extent of non-sampling errors.
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