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Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is celebrating a major milestone with a steel topping ceremony for the expansion of the airport’s international terminal building, known as Pier D. The event marked the completion of the structural phase of the building, which remains on schedule to open in 2020. This project is part of YVR’s multi-billion dollar expansion program, which includes 75 projects over 20 years.
Vancouver Airport Authority president and CEO Craig Richmond was joined by George Chow, B.C. Minister of State for Trade; Tertius Serfontein, senior director, Airports – Western Canada, Air Canada; and Jason Glue, representing the board of directors, British Columbia Construction Association (BCCA) to celebrate the steel topping.
Once complete, the expanded terminal will include an additional eight wide body gates, including four bridged gates and four remote stand operation (RSO) gates. The added gates will enable the airport to support large aircraft including the Airbus A380 which has a wingspan of 260 feet. This expansion will help YVR meet growing passenger demand, having welcomed a record 25.9 million passengers in 2018, better connecting British Columbians and local businesses to the world, while improving the airport experience.
The expansion will continue with YVR’s well-known sense of place. Passengers will experience the beauty of B.C. with a glassed-in nature feature made up of three western hemlock (tsuga heterophylla) trees. Amenities such as digital art, restaurants and bars will also reflect all that B.C. has to offer.
YVR’s operations — together with tourism and cargo — contribute more than $16 billion in total economic output, $8.4 billion in GDP and $1.4 billion in government revenue across B.C. Each new flight through YVR creates hundreds of jobs and contributes millions of dollars in economic benefit to the province.
YVR’s multi-year expansion plans are made possible due to YVR’s unique operating structure. YVR receives no government funding and all profits generated are reinvested back into the airport for the benefit of its customers, partners and communities.
“YVR’s mandate is to serve our region, connecting people and products to destinations all around the world. We are able to deliver on this thanks to our unique operating model and by being a connecting hub, which encourages passengers from other parts of the world to travel through our airport,” said Richmond. “Connecting passengers create enough demand to support air services that would not otherwise be possible. This directly results in significant benefits — not only more destinations, airlines and choices for passengers but jobs and business activity for the local, provincial and national economy.”
“Visitors to our province want modern and accessible transportation and Vancouver International Airport offers them a world-class experience from the moment they step off the plane. YVR also plays an important role connecting visitors to the amazing tourism experiences in all corners of our province,” added Chow. “I know this terminal expansion will continue YVR’s award-winning reputation, support more international visitors and help build B.C.’s economy. Congratulations to everyone involved on reaching this important milestone.”
“We have strategically developed and expanded Air Canada’s international network over the last several years transforming YVR into our commercial trans-Pacific hub that efficiently connects people from our Asia, Australia, India and Europe flights to and from our vast North American network radiating from YVR,” said Serfontein. “Over the last five years, we have added 46 per cent in additional capacity and today, we launch up to 1,293 flights globally each week, representing more than $5 billion worth of aircraft assets dedicated to the YVR market every day.”
“On behalf of the B.C. Construction Association and the 25,000 employers in B.C.’s construction industry, my congratulations to Vancouver Airport Authority, PCL Construction and the skilled tradespeople who are building the Pier D expansion project for achieving this significant milestone,” said Glue. ” I want to thank the Airport Authority for helping make B.C.’s construction sector stronger by building world class projects that provide valuable training opportunities for our skilled tradespeople, and for letting us play a role in making the already magical arrival experience at YVR even more memorable.”