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Craig's Corner: The Future has Begun

A humbling way to think about the future is to look to the past. For instance, if you told someone in 1996 that in 20 years they’d carry a personal computer in their pocket that connected to a worldwide information “cloud,” they would have rolled their eyes. Here’s one from our world – who would have thought that a 787 Dreamliner would use less than 3 litres of fuel per 100 passenger kilometres? That’s about the same as a modern compact car.

As B.C.’s airport, YVR has a responsibility to plan for the perceived and unknown future, anticipating growth and technological advancements that range from practical to believable and even to fantastical. This starts with a strong vision that challenges present-day thinking, which we capture in our new Master Plan, YVR 2037.

You may have seen me describing this plan on the news  lately, along with futurist Nik Badminton. Some of our descriptions have been quite imaginative, while others are very pragmatic. For instance, we face a very real challenge in the near-future: moving a growing number of passengers to and from the airport. Do we achieve this by building more roads, expanding public transportation, looking at bridge options—or through a combination of all three?

Then there’s the terminal. We’re on track to welcome a record 21+ million passengers this year and we’re aiming for 25 million by 2020. This surpasses the airport’s capacity, meaning we need to grow to meet forecasted demand.  We have an expansion plan for this, as we note in our discussion guide, which presents the optimal growth strategy.

And what about the opportunities that don’t yet exist?  We’ve captured some of these through five inspirational travel stories. From augmented reality to vertical farms and robotic services, these stories are a starting point for discussion.

We want to know what you think of the future. To do this, YVR recently invited the public to our Master Plan workshops, where we received great input on what we can do to ensure YVR grows sustainably. And due to popular demand, we are hosting another workshop on October 4, which you can sign up for at yvr2037.ca. We are also hosting an open house on October 12 and invite everyone to come hear more from our team.  

Of course, we are not limiting feedback to workshops and the one open house. We are always interested in getting your input on how YVR can improve. No idea is too big or small. We are, after all, your airport and we encourage you to play a hand in looking towards the future. And at the speed we’re growing perhaps you will see your idea in our community terminal in the very near future.

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