Today Vancouver International Airport (YVR) and Pacific Autism Family Network (PAFN) unveiled Paper Planes Café. The latest addition to YVR's reimagined food and beverage offering, Paper Planes Café is an inclusive and accessible coffee bar and the first of its kind at a Canadian airport.
The staff at Paper Planes Café will include a team of individuals of different abilities from the neurodiverse community. The team will prepare and serve an array of coffee, hot drinks, and quick snacks for the millions of passengers who travel through YVR as well as thousands of employees and guests, creating inclusive employment opportunities and elevating the travel experience at YVR.
“We are thrilled to welcome Paper Planes Café to YVR in partnership with Pacific Autism Family Network,” said Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Paper Planes Café is more than just a coffee shop, it is a place where adults with diverse abilities can gain paid employment, training, and valuable work experience. Travellers passing through YVR will have an opportunity to enjoy quality food and beverages while also upholding employment opportunities for individuals across the neurodiverse community in a safe and empowering place.”
The goal of this meaningful employment at Paper Planes Café is to give power to individuals with diverse abilities by providing them with the skills and experience they need to succeed in the workforce.
“PAFN is so thrilled to be part of this new initiative at YVR. Building upon our programming, this will allow us to offer meaningful training in a paid position leading to hopefully employment. Thank you to YVR for helping us make a difference in the lives of individuals and their families across the neurodiverse community,” said Sergio Cocchia O.B.C. LL.D. (Hon), Board Chair & President, Pacific Autism Family Network.
Through the café, YVR and PAFN will deliver a training program for up to six months for all staff focused on tangible skills and expertise typical to the restaurant and service industry, such as barista talents, food preparation, and customer service. At the end of the training, staff will also be supported with their job search in the community.
Paper Planes Café at YVR is located in the Domestic Arrivals area on Level 2 and will be open seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
YVR partnered with PAFN in 2021 under a shared vision to make travel accessible and enjoyable for everyone. Together with PAFN and as part of its three-year accessibility plan, YVR will continue to connect people and communities and strive to provide a welcoming, inclusive, and accessible travel experience for people of all abilities.
More information about YVR’s accessibility plan is available at www.YVR.ca/accessibility.
- “Air Canada is a proud partner of Vancouver Airport Authority and the Pacific Autism Family Network in promoting inclusive travel. We believe in equal opportunities and creating work environments that are inclusive, welcoming and safe for all individuals. We applaud Vancouver International Airport and the Pacific Autism Family Network on the launch of Paper Planes Café, the first commercial business at a major Canadian airport that focuses on providing people with diverse abilities opportunities for skills development and personal satisfaction in a positive and supportive space.” - Christianna Scott, Director – Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Air Canada.
- “Congratulations to YVR and the Pacific Autism Family Network on the opening of Paper Planes Café. CATSA has worked with both organizations to promote an inclusive and accessible air travel experience, and we wish them every success with this exciting new venture,” said Nada Semaan, President and CEO of the Canadian Air Transport Security Authority.