Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver International Airport

Infobox Airport
name = Vancouver International Airport

type = Public
owner = Transport Canada [ [ Airport Divestiture Status Report] ]
operator = Vancouver International Airport Authority
city-served = Vancouver, British Columbia
location = Richmond, British Columbia
elevation-f = 14
elevation-m = 4
coordinates = Coord|49|11|38|N|123|11|04|W|type:airport|display=inline
website = []
r1-number = 08L/26R
r1-length-f = 9,940
r1-length-m = 3,029
r1-surface = Concrete
r2-number = 08R/26L
r2-length-f = 11,500
r2-length-m = 3,505
r2-surface = Asphalt/Concrete
r3-number = 12/30
r3-length-f = 7,300
r3-length-m = 2,225
r3-surface = Asphalt/Concrete
r4-number = 26A
r4-length-f = 3,500
r4-length-m = 1,066
r4-surface = Asphalt/Concrete
stat-year = 2007
stat1-header = Aircraft Movements
stat1-data = 326,026
stat2-header = Number of Passengers
stat2-data = 17,495,049
footnotes = Sources: Canada Flight SupplementCFS]
Aircraft statistics from Transport Canada [ - Aircraft Movement Statistics: NAV CANADA Towers and Flight Service Stations: Annual Report 2007] ]
Passenger statistics from Vancouver Airport. [ Vancouver Passenger Statistics] ]

Vancouver International Airport Airport codes|YVR|CYVR is located on Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, about 15 kilometres from downtown Vancouver. It is the second busiest airport in Canada by aircraft movements, behind Toronto Pearson International Airport, with non-stop flights daily to Asia, Europe, Oceania, the United States, Mexico, the Caribbean, and other airports within Canada. The airport has won several notable international "best airport" awards, and it won the Skytrax "Best North American Airport" award in 2007. [cite web|title=2007 Regional Airport Awards|publisher=Skytrax|date=2007|url=|accessdate=2007-08-26] YVR also retains the distinction of "Best Canadian Airport" in the regional results. [cite web|title=2006 Airport of the Year: Results|publisher=Skytrax|date=2007|url=|accessdate=2007-04-04] The airport is the second busiest Canadian airport with 17.5 million passengers and 326,026 movements in 2007. It is an Air Canada hub as well as a focus city for WestJet and a hub for Air Transat.

The Vancouver International Airport is one of eight Canadian Airports that have U.S. border preclearance facilities.


In 1927, Charles Lindbergh refused to include Vancouver in his North American tour because of the lack of a proper airport. Two years later, the city purchased land on Sea Island for aviation purposes. [ [ The History of YVR ] ]


Due to its proximity to Asia compared to the rest of Canada, YVR is used as a "gateway" between Canada and Asia. It has more trans-Pacific flights than other cities in Canada. Huge number of Asian-Canadians living in Vancouver contributes to this as well.


Vancouver International Airport has four terminals: The domestic terminal, which was constructed in 1968 and recently given a top-to-bottom renovation; the International Terminal and Transborder, which was newly constructed in the mid to late 1990s, and the South Terminal, which is a portion of the original terminal that is still in use. The International and Domestic terminals can effectively be considered to be one building divided into two sections, while the South terminal is located in a remote part of the airport. The South Terminal serves regional airlines which fly mostly within British Columbia. The international terminal is divided into international departures and trans-border departures (to the USA only); above it is a 392-room hotel.


In May 2005, the federal government, which owns the land, announced it was cutting rent costs by 54%. The rent reductions will cut the cost of the lease by approximately $840 million CAD between 2006-2020, or $5.0 billion CAD over the term of the lease, which ends in 2052. Currently, the airport authority pays about $80 million CAD each year in rent.

Passengers traveling through YVR are no longer required to pay a separate Airport Improvement Fee; it now is included in the price of a ticket.


Vancouver International Airport's interior has a uniquely B.C. theme, featuring one of the most extensive collections of North West Coast Native art in the world, and blues and greens to reflect the colours of the land, sea and sky. The airport uses a great deal of carpet and vast expanses of glass to let in large amounts of natural light. One of the most noticeable pieces in an arriving passenger's trip is the International arrivals hall, a large area where customs and immigration procedures are completed. Arriving passengers come down escalators leading to a platform across a large waterfall. The YVR aboriginal art collection includes wooden sculptures and totem poles. Bill Reid's sculpture in bronze, "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Jade Canoe", is displayed in the international departures area.

Public transit connections

Currently, the domestic and international terminals are served by TransLink buses 424 and N10. Route 424 connects the airport to Airport Station, a stop on the 98 B-Line express bus route between Vancouver and Richmond. Route N10 is a night bus route that connects the airport to downtown and other locations when route 424 is not running. The South Terminal is served by route C92.

Vancouver International Airport is contributing up to $300 million to the Canada Line, a rapid-transit line running from the airport to downtown Vancouver (with another branch serving central Richmond) which will be completed by November 2009, in time for the 2010 Winter Olympics. The total cost of the project is $2 billion. A Link Building ($117 million, completion 2007) will be the docking area for users of the line and will link the international terminal with the domestic terminal. When the line opens, Vancouver's airport will be the only one in Canada with a passenger railway connection.

Future expansion

A nine-gate international terminal expansion will be done in two phases ($420 million; Phase 1 – 2007; Phase 2 – as soon as 2010). The first phase saw four new gates with two conventional wide-bodied gates and two able to accommodate the Airbus A380. The international terminal addition has several examples of beauty in British Columbia, including a stream in a proposed pathway and fish and jellyfish tanks (completed). Phase 2 will add five additional gates and is currently under construction.

Vancouver International Airport Authority is currently developing a 2007-2027 Master Plan and Land Use Plan, a look forward 20 years to ensure YVR will be able to accommodate the passengers it expects. It is asking the community for input and toured local malls with an informational display to elicit feedback. The tour is complete, but the public can still provide feedback through the Master Plan section of the YVR website, where a copy of the draft Master Plan recommendations is also available.

Operation Yellow Ribbon

The airport's reputation as a premier gateway airport between Asia and North America was made evident during Operation Yellow Ribbon on September 11, 2001. With U.S. airspace closed as a result of the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, there was no choice for Vancouver International Airport but to take part in the operation since it was the only major Canadian airport on the west coast that has the capability of handling large aircraft for trans-Pacific flights. The airport handled 34 flights carrying 8,500 passengers—more passengers than any other Canadian airport involved in the operation.

The airport won the 2001 Airport Management Award from the B.C. Aviation Council [ [ B.C. Aviation Council] ] and was cited for overcoming many challenges in a professional and compassionate way. [cite paper|url=|format=PDF|title=2001 Annual Report|publisher= [ Vancouver International Airport Authority] |accessdate=2006-09-30]

Airlines and destinations

Domestic terminal

Gates: A1-A5, B11-B22, C32-42, C50-C52. (C50-C52 are swing gates which can be used for international flights.)

outh terminal

Cargo only carriers

* AirPac Airlines (Seattle-Boeing Field, King County Airport)
* Ameriflight (Seattle-Boeing Field, King County Airport)
* Cargojet Airways (Calgary, Winnipeg)
* Cathay Pacific (Anchorage, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco)
* Empire Airlines (Oakland)
* FedEx Express (Memphis, Oakland, Spokane)
* Kelowna Flightcraft Air Charter (Calgary, Kamloops, Victoria, Winnipeg)
* Morningstar Air Express (Calgary, Winnipeg, Toronto-Pearson, Montreal, Moncton, Halifax, Victoria)
* Purolator Courier
* United Parcel Service (Seattle-Boeing Field, King County Airport)

Past & Future Airlines


There are several fixed base operators that service aircraft at Vancouver International Airport:
*CHC Helicopter
*Esso Avitat (Esso/Imperial Oil)
*Landmark Aviation (Shell Canada)
*Million Air (Chevron Corporation)


*On February 7, 1968, a Canadian Pacific Airlines Boeing 707 overran a runway while landing in heavy fog, killing one crew member.

*On September 11, 2001, an Air China 747 from Beijing to San Francisco, was escorted by two U.S. F-15s onto the airport's north runway during Operation Yellow Ribbon, apparently due to a communication problem.

*On October 14, 2007, Robert Dziekański, a 40-year-old Polish immigrant, died after leaving the secondary inspection area at the airport. Dziekański, who had become visibly agitated after spending ten hours in the customs area, died shortly after being tasered at least twice by Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers. [cite web|url= |title=Taser video shows RCMP shocked immigrant within 25 seconds of their arrival |publisher=CBC|date=2007-11-15 |accessdate=2007-11-15 ]

*On October 19, 2007, at approximately 4:10pm, a Piper Seneca bound for Pitt Meadows took off from YVR and crashed into a nearby apartment building in Richmond, British Columbia. The pilot was the sole occupant of the plane. He was killed in the crash. Two others were injured, both of whom were in the apartment building at the time. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

* On September 18, 2008 in the afternoon, an Air Canada Airbus A340 collided with an Air Canada Jazz Dash 8 aircraft. The Jazz flight was taxing on the runway when it collided. The Air Canada flight was bound for Hong Kong. Both aircraft received damage but there were no injuries or fatalites.


External links

* [ Vancouver International Airport Authority]
* [ Vancouver International Airport page on "Places to Fly", the airport directory of the Canadian Owners and Pilots Association]
* [ Vancouver International Airport Authority Union]

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