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In an annual address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade (GVBOT), Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority, announced another year of record-breaking growth at Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
In 2017, YVR welcomed more than 24 million passengers, an 8.4 per cent increase.
“It’s hard to believe that we have exceeded expectations and are only one million shy of our original goal of 25 million passengers by 2020. This growth puts YVR as one of the fastest growing airports in North America,” said Richmond.
“Looking ahead, we are seeing exciting new destinations and increased frequencies. We are here to connect B.C. proudly to the world and we will continue to generate lift by facilitating the ambitions and endeavours of British Columbians.”
Also in his address, Richmond shared new passenger forecasts. Growth projections discussed now show 31 million passengers by 2022, with 29 million passengers targeted for 2020.
YVR has also updated its target to serve 144 destinations by 2020–currently YVR connects people and businesses to 127 non-stop destinations worldwide. The change in forecasting is attributed to a number of factors including a strong B.C. economy and an impressive year for new air services due to ConnectYVR–YVR’s five-year rates and charges program.
In keeping with YVR’s innovative approach to business and forward-looking strategy, Richmond spoke about a number of unique ways to address the growth, including:
- Remote Stand Operations (RSOs)–As YVR continues to grow, cost and operationally efficient bussing operations will be added. The addition of a bus stand costs about $12 million, a quarter the price of a contact gate attached to the terminal, which is around $50 million;
- Primary Inspection Kiosks (PIKs)–The new self-service border kiosks are capable of processing nearly 100 per cent of all international travellers and have greatly reduced wait times. Introduced by Vancouver Airport Authority’s Innovative Travel Solutions, the team has sold over 1,300 kiosks to 39 airport and seaport locations in North America, the Caribbean and Europe. Profit from the kiosks is reinvested directly back into the airport;
- Capital Plan–Over the next three years, $1.7 billion will be spent on major projects that enhance the airport experience. Projects include YVR’s Pier D expansion in the international terminal, which once complete in 2020 will increase capacity to accommodate eight additional aircraft; four contact gates and four bussing gates. In addition, the new Central Utilities Building (CUB) will consolidate YVR’s heating, cooling and backup electrical system and a new parkade will feature a range of sustainability initiatives such as a rainwater harvesting system, electric vehicle charging stations and an automated guidance system.
YVR is owned and operated by Vancouver Airport Authority, a not-for-profit organization that is governed by a non-political board of directors appointed from the community.
Every dollar earned by the airport authority is reinvested into the operation and growth of the airport to improve facilities, enhance services, reduce costs and support community initiatives.
YVR plays a key role in driving economic benefits to the region. This includes helping to facilitate $16.5 billion in total economic output, $8.4 billion in total gross domestic product, $1.4 billion in total government revenue across B.C. and more than 24,000 jobs on Sea Island.