BCAC welcomes province and YVR’s agreement to create new net-zero airports action plan

BC Aviation Council Press Release | April 2, 2024

Estimated reading time 5 minutes, 20 seconds.

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The BC Aviation Council (BCAC) applauds the Government of British Columbia for launching a new strategic partnership with the Vancouver International Airport Authority (YVR) designed to enhance aviation and aerospace industry sustainability while reducing carbon emissions.

“The BCAC is delighted at the announcement of the province’s partnership with YVR on the sustainable aviation fuels study, the pre-feasibility study exploring opportunities to enhance the movement of people and goods in our province, and the creation of a net-zero airports action plan,” said BCAC board chair Heather McCarley during a news conference Thursday at YVR, where the new partnership was unveiled.

McCarley participated in the event with BC Premier David Eby, YVR president and CEO Tamara Vrooman, Musqueam Chief Wayne Sparrow and other dignitaries; the province has contributed $875,000 total for the three projects.

The BCAC is particularly excited about the province’s decision to invest $375,000 to support the creation of the net-zero airports action plan, which will outline carbon-reduction measures across all BC airports. 

YVR is the first airport in Canada to commit to being true net-zero by 2030 and will help all other B.C. airports achieve the same target. The BCAC is confident that, once created, the net-zero airports action plan will enable airports to achieve their sustainability goals and reduce their overall carbon footprint.

In 2022, McCarley recalled, the BCAC held its first in-person event since the COVID pandemic began – the BCAC annual conference titled, Beyond COVID – A Focus on Sustainability, Technology and Opportunities.

The BCAC recognized that the aviation and aerospace industry would only be successful if it looked beyond the current and continuing challenges. The sector needed to ensure that it could become environmentally sustainable for the long term. 

“We asked the question: What can be done?” said McCarley. “It started with a conversation and then a commitment from the CEOs of the three largest airports in our province – Vancouver (YVR), Kelowna (YLW) and Victoria (YYJ) – to collaborate on potential initiatives for reducing carbon emissions for all airports in British Columbia.”

The BCAC’s Climate Committee took on the idea and commitment. In September 2022, the BCAC helped YVR host an extremely successful decarbonization workshop for BC airports.

Extensive efforts were undertaken by a wide range of people from the industry and the BC Ministry of Transportation to make the idea a reality.

“Fast-forward to today’s announcement and we have a collaborative partnership between YVR and the province on these three projects that will help advance the sustainability of our industry, which is vital for the well-being of our province,” said McCarley.

The three projects are part of a memorandum of understanding that Eby and Vrooman signed Thursday. The province and YVR have agreed to collaborate with Indigenous partners, communities and the aviation and aerospace industry to deliver new products, projects, and activities over the next three years.

During that period, the government and YVR will also explore further investments and activities in several areas including additional further investment in clean-tech solutions developed in BC, expanded trade diversification, and workforce development growth.

“The BCAC looks forward to collaborating proactively with the province, YVR, BC’s over 100 airports, communities, Indigenous peoples, and our other industry partners on the net-zero airports action plan,” said BCAC executive director Dave Frank. “Our 65 supporting member airports are providing expert advice on developing, operating, expanding, and sustaining airports of the future.”

The BCAC will be actively participating on other projects funded by the province’s $875,000 contribution through YVR.

This press release was prepared and distributed by the BC Aviation Council.

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