Airport Activity Survey

Detailed information for 2007





Record number:


The survey collects data reported in traffic flow format from air carriers across Canada.

Data release - February 3, 2009


The survey collects data reported in traffic flow format from air carriers across Canada. Data collected includes notably the origin point, flight number, number of revenue passengers and cargo weight. 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: One month after reference period


  • Transportation
  • Transportation by air

Data sources and methodology

Target population

This survey 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 international services into and out of Canada using aircraft with a maximum take-off weight greater than 30,000 kg.

Instrument design

The Daily Airport Activity Report (Statement 6) 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 report collects mainly data on enplaned/deplaned and arriving/departing passengers and freight at Canadian airports by carrier and by flight number.


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 Statistics Canada directly from survey respondents and from administrative data collected by Transport Canada under their Electronic Collection of Airline Transportation Statistics (ECATS) initiative.

Carriers may report to Statistics Canada using Statement 6 (I,F) Daily Airport Activities Report. This may be done electronically or using the questionnaire. Carriers may report to Transport Canada using a Web form or a file upload process to a secure website. Scheduled traffic is reported on a flight basis for each Canadian airport served by the carrier. The traffic is then assigned a sector (domestic, transborder or other international) determined by the next stop or the last stop of the flight itinerary. Statement 6(I,F) collects the following information regarding each flight: flight number; reporting airport; point of origin; final destination; type of flight (passenger or cargo); aircraft type; aircraft, passenger and load capacity; last station arrived from or next station departed to; and arriving/deplaned or enplaned/departing revenue passenger and cargo data.

Data for this survey are collected daily, weekly or monthly, maintaining the information on flights by actual date. Data are disseminated annually.

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

Error detection

If a carrier submits airport activity data on computer tape, an initial edit program is normally applied to the data by the individual carrier in question.

Upon receipt of the participating carriers' data in whatever form, The Aviation Statistics Centre of Statistics Canada applies its own edit programs to the data. These programs 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.


This methodology type does not apply to this statistical program.

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. The response rate for the data collected directly by Statistics Canada in 2007 was 96%.

Data presented by this survey are compiled from a wide variety of sources, directly from the carriers and from provincial and federal government departments. The data are considered of high quality.

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