With Christmas in the rear view and New Year’s right around the corner, it’s time to take stock of 2017. This past year has been very special for YVR. We launched a broad range of new routes and welcomed a number of new airlines to the YVR family. We continued to work with our communities and business partners to improve the airport. And we are now set to break our passenger record—again—with current estimates hinting at a number around 24 million.
It was such a great year, in fact, that it’s hard to pin down the top three or five achievements. So instead, in keeping with the holiday spirit, I would like to highlight one achievement from each month—the 12 months of Christmas, if you will. Every one of these was a gift, making me feel like it was Christmas all year.
January: YVR launches Flight Plan
On January 18, YVR launched Flight Plan, our future roadmap. Flight Plan shows how we will meet the growth demands of the future. It contains our Master, Financial, Capital and Terminal plans, all focused on our efforts to be a world-class, sustainable connecting hub.
February: Air Canada kicks off an amazing year
2017 was an incredible year for air services and a large part of this was thanks to Air Canada, our long-standing partner. They kicked off the year with new, daily Dallas service in February, followed by a range of exciting destinations.
March: YVR wins Skytrax
In March, over 13 million passengers voted YVR the Best Airport in North America for a record eight years in a row! We are incredibly proud of this achievement. It shows that our commitment to customer care and delivering an exceptional airport experience is paying off.
April: YVR hosts emergency training
Safety is our number one priority and, to ensure we are always prepared, we constantly test our team. In April, we hosted our biannual, airport-wide training exercise with 24 agencies and 600 participants, who tested our emergency response procedures and helped us identify areas for improvement.
May: YVR completes major LED lighting install
Our commitment to being a leader in sustainability really shone in May, as we completed the largest install of an apron LED lighting system in Canada. The new lighting system not only cuts down on light pollution, but also significantly reduces YVR’s power consumption and increases safety for pilots, air traffic controllers and ground crews.
June: YVR and Musqueam sign historic agreement
Vancouver Airport Authority manages the airport for the benefit of everyone and in June we proudly displayed our unique, not-for-profit governance model with the signing of The Musqueam Indian Band – YVR Airport Sustainability & Friendship Agreement. This 30-year agreement will ensure we properly manage the airport for years to come.
July: YVR Celebrates Canada’s 150th
We’re proud to be Canadians and this past July we were glad to share the celebration with our passengers. Together with our partners, we celebrated Canada’s big birthday throughout the terminal, with themed products and fun events.
August: YVR launches ambassador dog program
In late summer, we found another way to improve the customer experience through our launch of the Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI). As part of the program, YVR Ambassador Dogs are now available throughout the terminal for pets and cuddles. Not surprisingly, the program has been a major success!
September: YVR wins big at World Routes Conference
In September, YVR made history at the 2017 World Routes Marketing Awards with two awards: the winner of the 20 to 50 million passengers category and the Overall Winner. These wins demonstrate the strength of our airport’s vision, leadership and strategy.
October: YVR welcomes Interjet
Our new partner Interjet started service to two cities in Mexico in October. This marked another great partner for YVR and the continued success of the Mexico market, which has seen substantial growth in 2017.
November: YVR recognized for top governance and diversity
November marked a big milestone for YVR: we received two Excellence in Governance Awards from the Governance Professionals of Canada—one for Best Overall Corporate Governance and one for Best Practices in Enhancing Boardroom Diversity.
December: YVR celebrates Melbourne
Air Canada finished the year with a bang, launching its new Melbourne service from YVR on December 1. The YVR – Melbourne route is our longest yet and the longest in Air Canada’s network. It’s a testament to YVR and Air Canada’s vision to build our airport into a Transpacific hub and is made possible thanks to the amazing Dreamliner aircraft.
A big thank you to the airlines that serve YVR, business partners, volunteers and the entire YVR team. Your hard work and dedication made 2017 an amazing year and I look forward to the year ahead.