A lot of people think YVR is run by the government – but it's not. In fact, it is managed by a private company, the Vancouver Airport Authority, a community-based, not-for-profit made up of about 500 innovative, hard-working people that help keep the airport running 24/7/365. The Airport Authority recently celebrated an important milestone – our 25th anniversary of operation – and I’d like to take a minute to reflect on all that has happened since the birth of a company of which I am proud to serve as President and CEO.
Flash back to 1992. Batman Returns was #1 at the box office, Roseanne was the most watched sitcom on television and Baby Got Back by Sir-Mix-a-Lot topped the music charts. A certain future CEO was finishing his degree. It was a time when the future of airports in Canada was being shaped by policy makers and forward-thinking business minds. Together, they came up with a hybrid model that combined the nimble, innovative qualities of a private company with the responsibility to manage on behalf of the public. The result was Airport Authorities and on July 1, 1992 Vancouver Airport Authority assumed operation of YVR.
Since that day, so much has happened to help define who we are at Vancouver Airport Authority. Picking out highlights is hard, but perhaps we should start with our most iconic landmarks--the Jade Canoe and the control tower—were both unveiled in 1996 along with our new International Terminal and new North runway. What a change for Vancouver!
I was on site as the VP of Operations on 9/11 and the tragedy of what happened was made only slightly less devastating by the immense pride I felt as I witnessed an airport community come together to support the thousands of displaced passengers. I also think about the Olympics and the incredible job our team did in preparing to welcome the world to YVR. And I think about the eight straight Skytrax Awards for Best Airport in North America, a true testament not only to Vancouver Airport Authority but the entirety of Sea Island and our surrounding community. We have built something worth standing behind and we continue to grow, improve and connect B.C. proudly to the world.
Our status has been threatened a few times, most recently when the notion of selling off Canadian airports to for-profit investors gained some steam. But much like our snow ops team who worked tirelessly this past year, we have weathered every storm. Together with our other airport authority partners, we lobbied against this idea strongly and launched a website where you can help us fight back. We believe Vancouver Airport Authority provides the best possible option for the public and we are committed to doing everything we can to ensure we stick around and serve our passengers and the public. To help celebrate this milestone and give a little something back to the community we so proudly serve, we are giving away some cold hard airport cash. Visit our Facebook page and share your favourite YVR memory from the last 25 years to enter. I look forward to reading them and reminiscing.
Thank you for supporting Vancouver Airport Authority for the last 25 years.Here is to another quarter century and beyond of growing together.
See you in 2042. Craig
P.S. I won't be the CEO then. Just saying.