TD 11-1: System Extent and Facilities (Kilometers)

  All countries

For road, the overall total for Canada and the United States includes all roads (highways, local and others). However, the road total for Mexico does not include local roads. For the road subcategories, Canada cannot disaggregate its data for local roads into paved and unpaved. The rail data represent the length of track, including yard tracks, sidings and parallel lines. The transit rail data refer to one-way, fixed guide ways.

For Canada and the United States, data do not include heliports, stolports (an airport specifically designed for short take-off and landing aircraft, separate from conventional airport facilities) and seaplane bases. For Mexico includes only certified airports and aeodromes.



Road: Road data for the year 1998 through 2006 represent all roads and were obtained from geographic files developed by DMTI Spatial. DMTI’s CanMap series gives road length for function classes of roads, but does not provide road surface information. In the breakdown for major roads it was assumed that freeways corresponded to paved four-lane roads. Other primary highways accounted for the remaining portion of major roads. The remaining classes—provincial highways, other arterial roads, local streets and urban roads— would comprise the local paved and unpaved roads.

The Canadian National Highway System (NHS) consists of 38,010 route-kilometers of roads linking major cities, major international border crossings and ports. Although it comprises less than 3 percent of the Canadian road network, the Canadian National Highway System supports the bulk of both the interprovincial and international trade in goods and inter city passenger travel.

Great Lakes and inland waterways: Distances for the Great Lakes and inland waterways were calculated with use of an automated marine distance library developed by the Economic Analysis Directorate of Transport Canada. The total distance of Canada’s Inland Waterways (2,825 kilometers) includes that distance along the St. Lawrence River from the Ontario-Québec border, along Québec’s north shore to the meridian of latitude 63o West (a distance of 1,029 kilometers) and the distance in U.S. waters in the Great Lakes system (1,796 kilometers).

The Great Lakes Region consists of those Canadian ports that are located along the St. Lawrence River west of the Ontario-Quebec border, and on the four Great Lakes, which include Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. Canada’s Inland Waterways Region consists of all rivers, lakes and other navigable fresh waters within Canada including the St. Lawrence River as far seaward as a straight line drawn from Cap-des-Rosier to West Point, Anticosti Island, and from Anticosti Island to the north shore of the St. Lawrence River along the meridian of longitude 63° West. This area excludes the Mackenzie River and its tributaries, but includes time spent in U.S. waters of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes, where the St. Lawrence River Region consists of Canadian ports located on the St. Lawrence River from the Ontario-Québec border eastward, along the north shore to 63° West.

Pipeline: Natural gas pipeline data include pipeline used for the gathering, transmission and distribution of natural gas, but exclude gathering lines for the upstream producing industry. The length of natural gas pipeline also excludes pipeline used for the residential distribution of natural gas. Crude oil pipeline data include pipelines used for gathering, trunk-crude and product lines, but exclude upstream producers’ gathering lines.

Rail: Rail track length includes rail lines owned or operated under lease, contract, trackage rights, or jointly owned and includes mainline, branch line and yard trackage.

Air: The number of Canadian heliports is excluded from the data in Table 11-1.

In Canada, an aerodrome is a generic name for facilities that are registered with Transport Canada as aircraft landing and take-off sites. Aerodromes are identified and described in Canada Flight Supplement, a publication produced on a monthly basis, under the authority of Nav Canada and Canada’s Chief of Defense Staff, by Geometrica Canada, Department of Natural Resources. Most of Canada’s commercial aviation activity takes place at certified airports. Some aerodromes are privately owned but the majority of the certified airports in Canada are owned by municipalities, provincial/territorial governments, or the federal government.

Data in Table 11-1 for number of airports for 1997 through 2004 is derived from an electronic version of the “Canada Flight Supplement”, produced by the Natural Resources Canada. As earlier years of historical data are not available from this electronic data source, those data tabulations for 1990, 1995 and 1996 were compiled manually from the hardcopies of the publication and may account for the anomaly in the historical series.

Number of Water Ports and Facilities: Data for the total number of ports in this table include active marine cargo ports or facilities reporting domestic and international cargo as reported on either Statistics Canada’s domestic survey or Revenue Canada’s Customs Declarations.



Road: The total length of the national road network includes federal and state toll and nontoll roads as well as feeder rural roads. Local roads within municipal areas are not included.

Pipeline: Data refers only to Gas and Oil pipeline. Exclude those used for transportation of petrochemical products and poly-pipeline (jointly represents approximately 55% of the total length of pipelines) in 2001.

Rail: The total length of rail under operation, include main, secondary and private railroads.

Transit: Data include the Sistemas de Transporte Colectivo (Metro) in Mexico City and (Metrorrey) in Monterrey, and Sistemas de Transporte Eléctrico in Mexico City and Guadalajara (Light train).

Air: Data represent those certified airports and aerodromes managed by Aeropuertos y Servicios Auxiliares, Airport Groups, as well as airports and aerodromes managed by the Secretaría de Comunicaciones y Transportes, and state and municipal governments. Prior to 2010, data included the airports managed by the Secretaría de la Defensa Nacional (Ministry of National Defense) and the Secretaría de Marina (Ministry of the Navy).

Water: The information about the ports refers to sites that have been enable as ports abd terminals by decree of the Federal Government. Facilities include Cayo Arcas, Yúmm K’ Ak Náab, and Takuntah, located in the Bay of Campeche off the coast of the Satate that bears the same name.


  United States

Road: Road data for “major roads” include U.S. Interstate and arterials. Data for local roads include both collectors and local roads. Data do not include Puerto Rico. Some differences in source tables in the source publication (Highway Statistics) may be noted because these are estimated from sample and summary data; samples entirely on structures are not included. Unpaved roads that the Federal Highway Administration classifies under “Major road system” are counted under both “Major road system” and “Unpaved.” There were 1,000 kilometers of unpaved major roads in 2002.

Great Lakes and Inland waterways: Data represent an estimated length of the U.S. Great Lakes and inland waterways on which commercial traffic was reported to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Great Lakes data refer to domestic commercial traffic between U.S. Great Lakes ports. Inland waterways are defined as those geographically located within the boundaries of the contiguous 48 states or within the boundaries of the State of Alaska. The totals are held constant because there have been no major additions or permanent closings. However, it should be noted that while the entire U.S. inland waterways system is about 42,000 kilometers long, just 18,000 kilometers of the system is deemed ?commercially significant? and thus subject to a fuel tax as determined by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE). But while the ?commercially significant? waterways include only those that are suitable for travel by modern towboats and barges and other major commercial vessels, there are several other inland waterways and coastal routes that handle or are capable of handling commercial traffic.

Pipeline: Gas pipeline data include transmission pipelines, distribution, main and field gathering lines, but exclude service pipes. Gas pipeline data are not adjusted to common diameter equivalent, and data are reported at the end of each year. Oil pipeline data include petroleum and other liquid product lines, including gathering lines.

Rail: Rail data include length of track owned, including yard tracks, sidings and parallel lines by the National Railroad Passenger Corporation (Amtrak) and Class I freight railroads. Class I railroads have annual operating revenues in excess of $401.4 million in 2008 and comprise only 1.2 percent of the railroads in the U.S., but account for about 70 percent of the industry?s distance operated (67.5 percent in 2008), 89.5 percent of its employees and 93.7 percent of its freight revenues. Portions of the freight, intercity passenger and commuter rail networks share common trackage in the United States. Jointly used rail track is only counted once in U.S. statistics.

Transit rail: Transit rail data include commuter rail, heavy rail and light rail. Only directly-operated (service provided directly by the agency and not by a contracted provider) mileage is included. Data are for directional route kilometers.

Number of airports: Data for the number of total airports in Table 11-1 include only civilian and joint use civilian-military airports in the United States and its territories. Purely military airports are excluded. These data do not include heliports, stol-ports (a short take-off and landing), and seaplane bases. Data for certified airports are based on those airports that serve air carrier operations with aircraft serving more than 30 passengers.