Every year we try and compile the best photos of the year and attempt to encapsulate the last 365 days in our most striking images. The past year has seen so many milestones and amazing achievements at YVR it's hard to put it all in to perspective in one set of pictures, but it didn't stop us from trying.
Qantas made a glorious return to YVR for seasonal service in early 2015 (and again in summer and late 2015) for flights to Sydney, and our VP of Operations, Steve Hankinson captured this awesome photo of their first flight back just as the mighty bird touched down on 08L.
The A-B Connector was the biggest capital construction project in YVR history and it was capped off with an unveiling of the stunning Rivers Monument art piece at the opening in January. We were so excited to be able to offer passengers and our airline partners this new terminal facility in 2015.
YVR employees scoured the airport with delicious treats to help say thank you to all the amazing people who helped us earn a sixth consecutive Skytrax Award for Best Airport in North America. This pilot couldn't quite snag a sweet treat, but don't worry, we ran one up to the flight deck before take off! Wheels up on chocolate.
Weather in Vancouver can be unpredictable, but at YVR we have to be ready for anything. One second it's all clear skies and smooth landings and the next it can be heavy rain, high winds, thick fog or snow and we have to be prepared to keep people, planes and bags moving as quickly and safely as possible.
It was a wet welcome for the very first Air France flight on March 29. We were so excited to launch a new route to Paris in 2015 as well as welcome a great new carrier to the YVR family.
Safety is our top priority at YVR and training is a big part of staying on our toes and preparing. In April we helped organize a large-scale emergency exercise that saw more than 600 people and 30 different organizations participate, including some of our firefighters who got a chance at some target practice.
Whenever we launch a new route at YVR we try our best to pull out all the stops with a jaw-dropping cake at the gate event and our Air Canada rouge inaugural to Osaka was no different. This incredible cake was so beautiful passengers were afraid to eat it. An amazing piece of edible art that helped celebrate an awesome new service out of YVR.
The fully integrated Airside Operations Building at YVR opened up earlier this year and provides a home for so many of our essential departments that do the majority of their work out on the air field. To have all these incredibly hard-working people uinder one roof in a sustainable, modern facility will make us be even better at keeping you safe and keeping the airport running optimally for decades to come.
The Explorer Tour Program is incredibly popular at YVR, and was fully booked this year. Our amazing Community Ambassadors offer extensive airport tours to groups from all over the Lower Mainland ranging from seniors groups, schools, community organziations and anybody else who wants to learn more about the airport. Kudos to our tour guides who really do go beyond, every day.
YVR and China Eastern launched service to Kunming, China via Shanghai in early summer, helping us become the only airport in North America with service to this key destination. Known as the City of Eternal Spring due to its mild climate, Kunming has a population of 7.2 million and is a renowned tourism destination, as well as a significant connecting point to major South East Asia locations.
Build it and they will come. Hordes of people turned out for the opening of the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Vancouver Airport in July and they just kept on coming, setting records for McArthurGlen and far exceeding expectations in the first six(ish) months of being open. A great option for travellers on a layover or members of the public looking for a great deal, McArthurGlen is a welcome addition to the YVR family.
Every year, members from our Executive Team do an early-morning Runway Walk to inspect the surfaces, check for debris and damage and take the opportunity to stretch their legs. The above photo, snapped by an Airside Safety Officer (thanks EF!) looks more like a painitng than anything and shows the dedication our team has to keeping YVR safe.
Taken as part of a surveying flight to examine construction on Taxiway Delta, this tilt-shift aerial makes that big-beautiful bird look like a little toy from way up there. Taxiway repairs were completed and we are thankful for all the hard work by so many people to make it happen!
This was the first year that YVR participated in the Pride Parade and boy did we have a good time. We will definintely be taking the rocket Downtown in 2016!
This photo, while somewhat dreary, really exemplifies the dedication Team YVR has to the community. Facing one of the rainiest days of the year (and that's saying something for Vancouver), the community turned out in record numbers for the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup and helped clean up garbage at Iona Beach.
Taken by local plane spotter, King Hui, we couldn't resist including this pic of two political party planes squaring off on the runways at YVR.
We will always remember the day R2D2 visited the runways of YVR. Plane spotters turned up in droves and families crowded the Observation Area to sneak a glimpse of everybody's favourite droid from one of the most celebrated film franchises of all time. More pics here.
YVR teamed up with Canucks Autism, CATSA and Air Transat to help host YVR Accessibility Tour: Autism, aimed at helping families living with autism fly stress free. The reward for all involved was the smiles on all their faces.
We did our best to Spice Up Winter in 2015 by handing out more than 5,000 bottles of signature hot sauce to help celebrate the arrival of Aeromexico to the runways of YVR. This new daily service between Vancouver and Mexico City gives travellers more options when they are looking to head out on a holiday.
We tried not to rank these pictures, but this last one is definitely among the favourites. The look of pure excitement on the faces of our 20 millionth passengers of 2015 makes us so proud to serve our community and so excited to reach another major milestone and work towards our goal of 25 million by 2020.
Thank you to our partners, passengers, employees, volunteers, our community and everybody else who helped YVR have an amazing and record-setting 2015!