A Message from Mary Jordan, Chair

In July 1992, a group of trailblazers negotiated the transfer of Vancouver International Airport (YVR) from the federal government to a local, community-based organization known as Vancouver Airport Authority. This past July, we celebrated the Airport Authority’s 20th anniversary, toasting that original group of leaders for its bold vision – one that set YVR on a course to become one of the best airports in the world.

This is an accolade of which we’re very proud, but it’s not self-bestowed. At the 2012 Skytrax World Airport Awards in Vienna, Austria, YVR was named Best Airport in North America, marking the third time we’ve achieved this distinction. This is a particularly meaningful award as it is based on feedback from passengers, our most important stakeholders.  Twelve million travellers from 108 countries voted for their favourite airport based on criteria ranging from retail amenities to clarity of directional signs.  In a business that is all about connections, this award is a credit to the partnerships in place at YVR with airlines, government agencies, business partners, retailers and volunteers.

It is also a testament to Larry Berg, the Airport Authority’s President and CEO, under whose leadership YVR has become more than simply a transit point through which passengers hurriedly move.  It is a destination unto itself, thanks to art and architecture that reflect B.C.’s natural beauty and a world-class collection of shops, services and restaurants. It is a hub of passenger-friendly services, including thoughtfully-planned facilities and technologies like self-serve check-in that simplify passenger travel. It is a centre of excellence in customer care, provided by competent, compassionate airport staff and volunteers. It is a community gathering-place, featuring facilities like the Public Observation Area and Canada Line, which links YVR to Richmond and Vancouver in less than 26 minutes. It is a powerful economic generator, home to 23,600 employees and 400 businesses that together generate $1.9 billion in Gross Domestic Product for Canada. And it is a gateway, thanks to connections with 122 global destinations, 68 airline partners and the business of 17.6 million passengers who travelled through YVR in 2012.

In the increasingly competitive airport business, both travellers and airlines have choices. During the coming decade, the Airport Authority will embark upon a strategy designed to keep YVR competitive and a key economic generator for our province. Focused on terminal and airside infrastructure upgrades, every element of this gateway strategy will make it faster and easier for passengers to move through the airport.  Together with the provincial government’s elimination of aviation fuel tax for international flights, which went into effect on April 1, 2012, this long-term vision positions YVR for tremendous growth as B.C.’s airport.

While senior leadership may change, our vision will not. Vancouver Airport Authority continues to strive to create an airport that British Columbia can be proud of: a premier global gateway, local economic generator and community contributor. On behalf of the Board of Directors, I offer my thanks to Larry Berg, the Airport Authority team and the entire airport community for your commitment to building a better YVR.

Mary B. Jordan
Chair
Board of Directors

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