Thursday May 14, 2037 at 10:30
An autonomous electric vehicle with the Kakashi family onboard silently ascends the ramp leading up to the Departures level at Vancouver International Airport. Stopping in front of the Latin American airline entrance, the vehicle door slides open and two excited children bound out, followed closely by their mom – Deb.
Inside the vehicle, their dad – Yoshi, requests a receipt. A voice responds, “Thirty-five credits for this trip, and we have you booked for a return journey for 16:50 hrs. on May 30th.”
Yoshi exits the vehicle and joins the others, while the vehicle glides down to the Arrivals level where its next scheduled pick-up awaits.
The Kakashis enter a large open plan reception area adorned with First Nations art, framed by tall, glass ceilings.
Moments later, they place their bags on a conveyor belt. The bags activate an overhead screen, and a voice says –“Good morning Mr. Kakashi, your travel documents are in order and your plane is on-time. You’ll 4 be leaving from Gate E127. Please proceed through the Security Zone and ensure that you and your familykeep your heads raised for biometrics scanning.”
The family enters the Security Zone – a short passageway, walled on both sides with floor-to-ceiling, backlit panels. As they walk through, one-by-one, the panels switch from white to green, followed by a friendly voice that prompts them to proceed.
Once through security, they are greeted by the centrepiece of YVR’s biodiversity and sustainability initiatives – a multi-story tubular structure made of glass. Inside this tower, workers nurture and cultivate fruit, vegetables and plants, adjust atmospheric controls and gather produce for the day.
A holographic YVR Storyteller is on hand to explain – “Welcome to our vertical farm. We use very little water in our hydroponic systems; the water we do use is collected from rainfall and the power we use is harnessedfrom the sun, via transparent solar panel windows that surround the Departures area. To supplement thevertical farm’s produce, we source fruit and vegetables from the finest growers here in the B.C.’s LowerMainland.”
The aroma of deliciously cooked food greets them as they arrive in the airport’s Shopping and Dining area. Travellers saunter from store to store, business people congregate on moving walkways, and the international food court offers a scintillating selection of global cuisines. “My friend Akio told me that the vegetarian cafe here is amazing. Let’s go check it out!” says Deb.
While Yoshi and the kids find a place to sit Deb selects suggested menu items from a screen, based on the family’s personal travel profiles.
Moments later, a server robot arrives at the table with the food as ordered. “Enjoy!”, it cheerfully exclaims and scoots off to the next customer.
The kids tuck in and sample a little of everything. Deb and Yoshi exchange a warm glance. After eating, they make their way to their gate via the moving walkways and settle into their seats in the comfortable waiting area.
A boarding announcement is made and the family lines up to get on the plane. The airline staff greet them and check the family’s credentials. “Enjoy your trip Mr. and Mrs. Kakashi. Jonny. Zina. We’ve left a surprise for you on your seats.”
They walk through the door and down the corridor to the aerobridge, the kids’ beaming smiles wider than ever before as they continue on their voyage of discovery.