Throughout the year, the Airport Authority helps a number of organizations create special moments and fulfill dreams for kids and families who may need a little extra cheer, especially during the holidays.
DreamLift for Disneyland is a one-day whirlwind adventure organized by The Sunshine Foundation of Canada. On December 11, the YVR community came together to support a DreamLift flight out of the South Terminal. DreamLift chartered a 737-800, 154 seat aircraft from Alaska Airlines for 77 kids.
The South Terminal was bustling at 4:30 a.m., as families arrived with excited children and more than 100 volunteers came together to help make the flight a success. The Airport Authority worked with Sunshine Foundation to make sure the departure and landing was as smooth and easy for the families as possible. Many of the children have never been away from their parents, so it was important to make them feel comfortable. YVR’s partner agencies and organizations were integral to making this day a success. Many of the South Terminal carriers had to change operations in order to allow easy access for the children, from the minute they arrived at South Terminal until they were loaded on the plane.
Canadian Air Transport Security Authority, US Customs and Border Patrol, Canada Border Services Agency and Transport Canada helped make sure the morning and late night run like clockwork. Once the plane arrived, specially-trained volunteers from Richmond Fire-Rescue and YVR’s Emergency Response Team helped lift each child from their wheelchair onto the plane, and helped with deplaning upon return. Even though it poured rain during this boarding process, the volunteers made sure to keep the children warm, dry and entertained.
The reaction of the children and the parents to this special adventure was incredible. The Airport Authority was proud to be a part of helping bring a little extra magic and cheer to these families this holiday season.