Air Passenger Origin and Destination, Canada-U.S.A. (POD)

Detailed information for 2017





Record number:


The Air Passenger Origin and Destination - Canada/United States survey provides estimates of the number of passengers traveling on scheduled commercial flights between Canada and the United States by directional origin and destination.

Data release - January 17, 2020


The Air Passenger Origin and Destination - Canada/United States survey provides estimates of the number of passengers traveling on scheduled commercial flights between Canada and the United States by directional origin and destination. The data are used by Transport Canada and the Canadian Transportation Agency for evaluating competition in the industry, developing policies for the exchange of air services with foreign countries, for airport planning and for market research. The information is also used by individual carriers for evaluating market trends, measuring their own growth and planning new services, as well as by Statistics Canada as input to the Provincial accounts.

Statistical activity

This statistical activity is part of a set of surveys measuring various aspects of activities related to the 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. Certain programs rely on aggregation of provincial and territorial administrative records.

Reference period: Quarter

Collection period: Within 30 days of the current reference quarter


  • Transportation
  • Transportation by air
  • Travel and tourism

Data sources and methodology

Target population

Transborder passenger counts contained in these data are based on data provided by air carriers participating in the Canadian and the American air passenger origin and destination surveys. It should be noted that data from some carriers who do not report to either survey or who are not authorized to provide air service between Canada and the United States may be included in the data when these air carriers provide connecting service to those carriers participating in the Canadian or American air passenger origin and destination surveys.

As of January 1, 2010, Canadian Level I and Level II air carriers are required to participate in the Canadian Air Passenger Origin and Destination Survey if they offered scheduled flights and if they transported at least 600,000 revenue passengers in each of the two calendar years immediately preceding the reporting year.

Data for the American Air Passenger Origin and Destination Survey are collected by the United States Department of Transportation from all certified American air carriers (air carriers holding Certificates of Public Convenience and Necessity) providing scheduled passenger flights if they operate aircraft with maximum passenger capacities of more than 60 seats (excluding helicopters and intra-Alaska carriers).

Instrument design

The collection instrument has 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. The collection instrument collects data electronically on revenue passenger trips made in whole or in part on domestic and/or international scheduled flights. Data on airports, operating carrier, advertised carrier and fare basis code are also collected.


This is a sample survey with a cross-sectional design.

Data are collected for all units of the target population, therefore no sampling is done.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents.

Transborder (Canada/United States) origin and destination data include all itineraries in the passenger origin and destination surveys of the two countries which have both a United States point and a Canadian point in the routing. Carriers must report information if (i) they operated one or more segments of the itineraries and (ii) no other carrier participating in the survey operated any preceding segments. Reporting is based on information obtained from lifted flight coupons (or their electronic equivalent). The complete ticket itinerary is recorded as one entry for each trip, showing the routing from the initial origin to the final ticket destination and including, in sequence, each point of intraline or interline transfer, the carrier (both operating and advertised for code shared segments) and the fare basis code on each flight coupon stage as well as the total value of the ticket in Canadian dollars. The Canadian survey collects data electronically from Canadian carriers. The United States survey data from American carriers are sent electronically from the US Department of Transportation on a quarterly basis.

Data for this survey are collected quarterly; however they are disseminated annually.

For this survey, all data comes from collection only.

View the Questionnaire(s) and reporting guide(s) .

Error detection

Errors may occur at almost every phase of a survey's operations: instructions for lifting of flight coupons by the participating carriers may be misunderstood; data observed on flight coupons may be illegible; and errors may be introduced in the processing of the data. In all these cases, systems are in place to detect these errors and appropriate actions, including follow-up with the respondents, are undertaken.


This methodology does not apply.


Statistics on transborder traffic (between Canada and the United States) have been compiled using the Directional Origin and Destination (DOD) concept. This approach necessitates breaking return, symmetrical, circle, and open-jaw itineraries into one-way single direction journeys. As a general rule, itineraries are broken at the farthest point from the origin. For example, an itinerary reported as Ottawa - Boston - Ottawa would be broken at Boston into two separate directional journeys (Ottawa - Boston and Boston - Ottawa).

Similarly, an itinerary reported as Montréal - Toronto - Vancouver - Las Vegas - Toronto - Montréal would be broken at Las Vegas into two separate journeys (Montréal - Las Vegas and Las Vegas - Montréal).

Transborder portions are derived from international journeys containing at least one Canadian and one point in the United States. The first Canadian point and the last United States point (or vice versa) within a journey which originates at or is destined to some point outside Canada and the United States delimit the transborder portion. For example, in an itinerary reported as Madrid - Chicago - Winnipeg - Calgary the transborder portion is Chicago-Calgary.

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 and geography groups, 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.

When a 10% continuous systematic sample is drawn from flight coupons, the data collected for the survey are systematically multiplied by 10 to produce the final estimates.

Quality evaluation

The evaluation of the quality of the Air Passenger Origin and Destination - Canada/United States Report includes the comparison with results of other Aviation surveys conducted in the Aviation Statistics Centre of Statistics Canada. For each carrier, flight segments and number of passengers are compared to similar statistics collected from the Airport Activity Survey (survey I.D. 2701). The evaluation of data quality also includes comparison to data available from other sources, including the Official Airline Guides (OAG).

Disclosure control

Statistics Canada is prohibited by law from releasing any information it collects which could identify any person, business, or organization, unless consent has been given by the respondent or as permitted by the Statistics Act. Various confidentiality rules are applied to all data that are released or published to prevent the publication or disclosure of any information deemed confidential. If necessary, data are suppressed to prevent direct or residual disclosure of identifiable data.

Data for a specific industry or variable may be suppressed (along with that of a second industry or variable) if the number of enterprises in the population is too low.

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.

Data accuracy

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.


Date modified: