President's Perspective: February 2012

Vancouver International Airport is home to 400 businesses, employs 23,600 people and generates $1.9 billion for the Canadian economy. It is an economic engine for British Columbia.

The airport’s geographic location has historically given YVR a competitive advantage when it comes to travel with Asia. As the closest major West Coast city to Asia, Vancouver was a natural connection point as planes could only go so far and they couldn’t fly over the North Pole or Russia for technological and political reasons.  

But that was 20 years ago. Many cities are now easily accessible to Asia. Airports in Seattle, Toronto – even Calgary and Chicago—promote themselves as Asia Pacific gateways. We need to do more to stay ahead. 

China’s demand for air travel is growing by seven per cent annually, one of the fastest growing markets in the world. We want YVR to secure its fair share of that market for the benefit of our local and provincial communities.

In order to stay competitive and an economic generator for B.C., Vancouver Airport Authority is launching a 10-year strategy, investing $1.8 billion in improvements at YVR. We will decrease connection times between international and domestic flights, enhance baggage systems and invest in terminal upgrades.

Today it takes an average of 90 minutes to connect from an international flight to a domestic flight. In order to be the gateway of choice, connection times are key. We need to make it faster for people and their bags to move through our airport. 

We want to get connection times consistently less than 60 minutes. When people are booking their tickets on-line we want services through YVR to appear on the first page of potential flights, not several pages down on a travel website. 

When more passengers use YVR, even when they are connecting on to other destinations, it means more flights and more choice for those of us who live here. Our goal is to have as many direct non-stop flights to as many destinations as possible, because we know that’s good for travellers and businesses.

 

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