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Utilizing technology to handle record growth effectively

family walking in front of border kiosks at YVREvery year YVR welcomes more and more people through our terminal—in fact, we served 25.9 million passengers in 2018, hitting our goal of 25 million two full years ahead of schedule. While we have an extensive capital construction program underway to help us meet this demand, our current facilities are at capacity. We therefore must be innovative in how we approach this record-breaking growth to maintain our high-level standard for customer experience.

One way we have been able to handle this growth effectively is through our very own technology, BorderXpress. This end-to-end border control solution has allowed us to increase our international arrivals by 210 per cent since the opening of the customs hall in 1996—all without having to expand our immigration facilities or add staffing resources.

How? YVR’s unique operating model as a not-for-profit, financially independent organization drives us to invest in innovations that improve your airport experience while also helping us keep costs as low as possible. Our in-house innovation team, Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS), launched BorderXpress, a first-of-its-kind border control solution, over 10 years ago right here at YVR to expedite the process for arriving passengers. We saw incredible success, reducing passenger wait times by more than 60 per cent. Through automating administrative functions, we were able to increase efficiencies, minimize interventions and deliver outstanding passenger experiences, all without compromising security.

We have worked closely with our partners at Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) to adapt and advance our solution over the years. For example, in 2017 we expanded BorderXpress to meet new requirements to modernize the Canadian border by accepting digital declarations from all arriving international passengers. Allowing essentially all travellers to use this efficient self-service option has provided us the flexibility to grow at unprecedented rates without having to expand or hire more staff.

It’s no wonder then that BorderXpress’ success goes beyond YVR—ITS is a trusted partner for over 43 airport, seaport and onboard sites having helped more than 250 million passengers safely and securely clear the border.

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