2020 is a good reminder of how fundamental changes create new paths. For YVR, this is evident in several historical phases: from our inception in 1931 to 1992, when the Federal Government managed operations and established the airport as a vital, national link; from 1992 to 2020, when the Airport Authority took over management and guided YVR through exceptional growth; and now—a new era, marked by the onset of COVID-19.
We are undergoing a paradigm shift and, just as fresh thinking in 1992 laid the groundwork for success, we now have an opportunity to look at what kind of airport we want to be. Throughout 2020, we have asked how we can be more innovative, sustainable, and beneficial for our region. This ongoing work has gone into making a new strategy, one that builds on our previous success while steering the airport towards its new goal: to become a Gateway to the New Economy.
To ensure we meet the needs of our region, we will start testing new initiatives in 2021. We will measure these initiatives against a range of targets focused on areas like community, financial, and climate change. For instance, we are looking at how we can embrace innovation and technological change. We are working towards making a YVR digital twin, which is a replica of physical assets, processes, or services. This work presents a broad range of future possibilities, from assessing how we could adjust terminal layouts to account for COVID-19 rapid testing, to testing the effectiveness of accessibility features and optimizing our airfield movements to reduce GHGs.
We are also looking at how we can further develop the airport as a major trade hub, supporting not just the movement of key goods, but also facilitating an ecosystem that provides great economic potential for our region. We are planning on doing this through enhanced airport infrastructure to support our cargo facilities and advocating to establish a free trade zone.
These are just a couple examples of what we mean when we say Gateway to the New Economy. It’s a vision grounded in reality and inspired by future opportunities. We are excited about working towards a future in which our airport serves our region in the best way possible, as it always has.
We will have more to share on our strategy soon. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any thoughts you wish to share.
President & CEO
Vancouver Airport Authority