Airport Activity Survey

Detailed information for 2013





Record number:


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 - November 18, 2014


The survey collects data from air carriers operating in Canada. Air carriers are required to file their data via one of three statements, through the Electronic Collection of Air Transportation Statistics (ECATS), 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.

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. In addition to surveying carriers and owners of registered motor vehicles, certain programs rely on aggregation of provincial and territorial administrative records.

Collection period: Data for ECATS Statement 2 and Statement 6 are collected monthly basis and due 30 days after the reference month.
Data for ECATS Statement 4 are collected quarterly and are due 60 days after the reference quarter.


  • Transportation
  • Transportation by air
  • Travel and tourism

Data sources and methodology

Target population

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.

Instrument design

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.

Data sources

Responding to this survey is mandatory.

Data are collected directly from survey respondents and extracted from administrative files.

Data are collected by Transport Canada under their Electronic Collection of Air Transportation Statistics (ECATS) initiative (see web site:

Statement 6 data are collected daily, weekly or monthly, maintaining the information on flights by actual date.

Statement 4 data are collected quarterly.

Statement 2 data are collected monthly.

Data from all three statements are consolidated into one database and data are disseminated annually.

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

Error detection

Upon receipt of the data from Transport Canada, the Aviation Statistics Centre of Statistics Canada applies edit programs to conduct quality checks to determine the quality and legitimacy of the information contained within flight records. Invalid entries are corrected.


Imputation is performed at the level of the individual air carrier on the basis of observed performance under similar operating conditions.


Estimation does not apply to this census survey.

Quality evaluation

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.

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

Annual estimates are provided for the reference year. The data for the previous reference year are revised if necessary. As this is an annual survey, seasonal adjustments are not applicable.

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.

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