The term ‘gateway’ has been common currency in the last few years, with many organizations and levels of government claiming it as their own. It is an important concept, however, and is at the core of one of Vancouver Airport Authority’s key objectives for 2011.
What is the Gateway? From YVR’s perspective, an emphasis on facilitating connections is not a new notion. As North America’s closest major airport to the Asia Pacific region, Vancouver International Airport has long been a natural continental gateway to the east. However, as new long-range aircraft can extend their reach into North America and other airports vie for gateway status, YVR has a challenge ahead as we strive to retain and expand air service, which in turn grows the business base for British Columbia and the employment that goes along with it.
To compete for the important Asia to North America traffic, however, we need to do a number of things, all of which are pivotal to our 2011 business plan. First and foremost, we need to ensure that connection times are short enough to make routings through YVR a preference for travellers and planners. This involves a number of initiatives that touch on policies (such as transit without visa), moving people (ensuring that passengers can get from domestic gates to international gates quickly, and vice versa), and baggage (guaranteeing that bags move rapidly from one aircraft to the next).
On the financial side, we are making it easier for air carriers to choose YVR through incentives that lower aeronautical fees and charges. On the advocacy front, we will continue to work with the province and community partners to pursue more liberal aviation policies from the federal government.
Underpinning these 2011 objectives is our commitment to making YVR a friendly and efficient airport for all of our customers, whether they are from our local community or transiting through on the way to another destination. As a significant employer and economic engine for the local community, we take this commitment seriously and look forward to a reinvigorated focus on growing our gateway.