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Craig's Corner: On Our Busiest Days

Have you ever stood still at YVR and watched as thousands of travellers move by? It’s an inspiring sight, but what’s more incredible is contemplating the collective effort it takes to move this seemingly infinite crowd. If you look behind the flurry of movements and listen to the chorus of voices, you’ll find the answer: the YVR community—a diverse team that shines most under pressure. 

This past summer, I was very proud to witness this team at its best for our 100 busiest days ever. Thanks to our marketing team’s efforts, we attracted new and expanded services that helped push our passenger count and airside traffic to new highs, reaching almost 1,000 aircraft movements on our busiest day. 

And it all happened safely, thanks to our amazing airside efforts. Our maintenance team worked tirelessly to make sure the runways were in top shape, replacing light fixtures and undergoing regular check ups. Our partners at NAV Canada coordinated an incredible amount of airside traffic, ensuring the smooth operation of the runways. And our airside and operations teams kept the airport running smoothly.  

On our busiest days, we saw thousands of customers moving through the terminal. These customers stopped for a break at our many restaurants, went shopping at our retail stores and interacted with airport employees. On our busiest day, we saw 75,000 customers, surpassing even the Olympic departure! And thanks to our customer-facing team—volunteers and employees, retail, food and beverage partners, CBSA and CATSA agents—these passengers had a great travel experience. 

These passengers also had lots of bags—almost 100,000 on the busiest day—and our groundside team rose to the challenge, unloading, sorting and moving bags on time and with precision. Meanwhile, our engineers worked hard on YVR’s new baggage system, which will further improve the transfer process, while construction teams worked on the facilities needed to support the airport’s growing baggage needs. 

Our construction partners also worked at full capacity to improve the airport during this busy period. In between the thousands of aircraft movements, they worked on the Runway End Safety Area projects on the south runway. They also worked on our dyke project to further protect the airport from flooding and completed the McArthurGlen Designer Outlet Centre. The outlet centre had the most successful McArthurGlen launch ever, with 160,000 shoppers on the first weekend. These shoppers provide valuable non-aeronautical revenue for YVR, which goes into further improving the airport. 

And the airport will continue to improve, as our team works hard to reach our goal of 25 million passengers by 2020. To visualize this goal and see the YVR team in action, I invite you to watch our 100 Busiest Days video. This video demonstrates the teamwork, accountability and dedication that led to a very successful period for YVR. 

As I noted above, this record-breaking period wouldn’t have been possible without the strong support of our community and the great work of our diverse YVR team. So thank you to everybody at YVR—our volunteers, our employees, our airline, business and retail partners and of course the entire Sea Island community. You are all part of the YVR success story, not only this past summer, but for many summers to come.  


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