For many of us, the end-of-year rush means big personal and professional commitments, whether it’s getting through those projects you have put off, preparing for holiday events and just trying to wrap things up. All these demands, combined with often challenging weather conditions, can impact our ability to focus.
But that’s exactly what we must do in order to avoid completely avoidable accidents. To ensure we keep alert at YVR, I always tell my team that every day and every meeting starts with a safety check. No matter what they do, they are expected to assess their environment and ensure everything is in order. At a 24/7 international airport, there are many examples: identifying any wet areas on the floor that could cause slips and falls, picking up litter in the airfield, checking the busy bag hall to make sure everything is running smoothly before starting a shift—and much more.
And there are no shortage of activities going on at YVR that need our utmost attention. We have experienced a long period of sustained growth, which is testing the capacity limits of our airport. To ensure we keep up with demand, we kicked off a multibillion-dollar, 20-year expansion program last year. The expansion, which includes up to 75 projects, includes a new Parkade and a Central Utilities Building that recently completed its largest concrete pour to date. We are also working on an international terminal expansion that will open next summer.
These construction projects include hundreds of contractors who must complete thorough safety training before working onsite. In addition, over 26,500 people work on Sea Island to support YVR’s daily operations. This team’s top priority is safety, and they are expected to promote a safety mindset at all times. While we have designed this mindset for work, I believe it 's relevant for everyone, especially during the busy holiday period. It consists of helpful reminders: be aware of your environment at all times, report anything that seems to be unsafe or out-of-place, and always ask “Is it safe?” before starting any task.
Above all, it comes down to being accountable and remembering that safety is the core of everything we do. We take great pride in the airport's success and look forward to continuing to deliver a safe and exceptional airport experience for everyone. With that, I hope you stay safe and I look forward to wrapping up another great year in the months ahead.