Vancouver Airport Authority today announced a 10-year strategy outlining $1.8 billion in improvements designed to keep Vancouver International Airport (YVR) competitive and an economic generator for British Columbia.
“YVR is facing increasing competition from other airports; both travellers and airlines have choices,” said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “In order to remain competitive and an airport that British Columbia can be proud of, we must continue to invest in projects that make it easier and faster for passengers and their baggage to move through the airport.”
YVR has set its sights on being the gateway of choice for travellers and airlines—particularly for the fast-growing Asian market. To meet this objective, YVR will decrease connection times between international and domestic flights, enhance baggage systems and invest in terminal upgrades.
The projects listed below will kick-start the Airport Authority’s 10-year strategy:
- More than 700 metres of secure corridors and moving walkways to reduce connection times for passengers
- New high-speed baggage systems
- Upgrades to the original areas of the 1968 Domestic Terminal Building
- Runway safety enhancements
To help fund these improvements, the Airport Authority is increasing the Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) from $15 to $20 beginning May 1, 2012, for passengers travelling to destinations outside of B.C. Passengers travelling within B.C. and to the Yukon will continue to pay $5. The AIF at YVR will still be among the lowest in Canada, with most other major airports collecting $25 per passenger.
“YVR employs 23,600 people, is home to 400 businesses and generates $1.9 billion in GDP for Canada. It’s no surprise that we have to continue investing in our airport to ensure we remain an economic engine for our community,” said Berg. “Every penny of AIF collected goes toward building a better airport for British Columbia.”
Since it was introduced in 1993, the AIF has helped build a new International Terminal, a new runway, roads and bridges, airfield safety improvements and the Sea Island portion of the Canada Line. The last AIF increase was in 2004.
“I’d like to commend Vancouver Airport Authority for its long-term vision in keeping YVR competitive in the fastest growing market in the world. This investment builds on Canada Starts Here: The B.C. Jobs Plan by continuing to build smart infrastructure that creates local jobs,” said Premier Christy Clark. “This level of investment demonstrates YVR’s confidence in British Columbia, our economic strategy, and the thousands of British Columbians working at the airport. Through our partnership with business and government in the Pacific Gateway we are seizing a generational opportunity to create jobs for British Columbians and to lead Canada into the next century.”
“It is exciting to see the Airport Authority investing significant funds like this in YVR’s infrastructure,” said B.C.’s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Blair Lekstrom. “Voted best airport in North America in 2010 and 2011, YVR continues to build for the future. This investment is more evidence of the value of our Pacific Gateway partnership with business. The Pacific Gateway strategy is promoting investor confidence through a positive business climate and is helping B.C. navigate today’s economic uncertainty. This investment will further our vision of creating an aviation hub for Asia right here in Vancouver.”
More information about the airport’s 10-year strategy can be found at www.yvr.ca.