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Vancouver International Airport

Vancouver International Airport
Aéroport international de Vancouver
WMO: 71892
Airport type Public
Owner Transport Canada
Operator Vancouver Airport Authority
Serves Metro Vancouver
Location Richmond, British Columbia
Hub for
Focus city for WestJet
Time zone PST (UTC−08:00)
 • Summer (DST) PDT (UTC−07:00)
Elevation AMSL 14 ft / 4 m
CYVR is located in Vancouver
Location in Vancouver
Direction Length Surface
ft m
08L/26R 9,940 3,030 Concrete
08R/26L 11,500 3,505 Asphalt/Concrete
13/31 7,300 2,225 Asphalt/Concrete
Number Length Surface
ft m
A Unmarked arrival/departure hover area
B 79 24 Asphalt
C 110 34 Concrete
Statistics (2014)
Aircraft movements 310,139[1]
Number of passengers 19,358,203[2]
Sources: Canada Flight Supplement[3]
Environment Canada[4]
Movements from Vancouver Airport Authority[5]
Passenger statistics from Vancouver Airport Authority.[6]

Vancouver International Airport (ICAO: CYVR) is located on Sea Island in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, about 12 km (7.5 mi) from Downtown Vancouver. In 2014, it was the second busiest airport in Canada by aircraft movements (310,139[5]) and passengers (19.3 million[6]), behind Toronto Pearson International Airport. It has non-stop flights daily to Asia, Europe, Oceania, the United States, Mexico and other airports within Canada. The airport has won several notable international best airport awards; it won the Skytrax Best North American Airport award in 2007 and 2010 through 2015.[7] The airport also made the list of top 10 airports in the world for the first time in 2012, rated at 9th (2012), 8th (2013), and 9th (2014) overall.[8] It is the only North American airport included in the top 10 for 2013 and 2014.[8][9][10][11] YVR also retains the distinction of Best Canadian Airport in the regional results.[12] It is a hub for Air Canada as well as a focus city for WestJet. It is also an operating base for Air Transat. Vancouver International Airport is one of eight Canadian airports that have US Border Preclearance facilities. It is also one of the few major international airports to have a terminal for scheduled floatplanes.

Vancouver International Airport is owned by Transport Canada[13] and is managed by Vancouver Airport Authority,[14] which also manages other airports around the world through its Vancouver Airport Services subsidiary.


  • History 1
  • Terminals 2
    • Main Terminal 2.1
      • Domestic Terminal 2.1.1
        • Concourse A
        • Concourse B
        • Concourse C
      • International Terminal 2.1.2
        • Concourse D
        • Concourse E
    • South Terminal 2.2
  • Awards 3
  • Architecture 4
  • Accessibility 5
  • Green Coat Ambassadors 6
  • YVR Sustainability 7
  • Airlines and destinations 8
    • Cargo 8.1
  • Statistics 9
    • Annual traffic 9.1
  • Cost 10
  • Public transit connections 11
    • Rapid Transit (SkyTrain) 11.1
    • Bus 11.2
  • Expansion 12
  • Operation Yellow Ribbon 13
  • FBOs 14
  • Other facilities 15
    • Fire and policing 15.1
  • Catering Kitchens 16
  • Incidents and accidents 17
  • Nearby major airports 18
  • References 19
  • External links 20


In 1929 the city of Vancouver purchased land on Sea Island for aviation purposes, replacing the original grass airstrip at Minoru Park. During World War II, the airports and its original terminal, now the South Terminal, were leased to the Federal government and operated by the Department of National Defence and the Department of Transport. The airport was a base for Royal Canadian Air Force training. The crews and their families were housed in a new townsite on the island, named Burkeville after Boeing president Stanley Burke. Funds from the lease were used to purchase additional land for new hangars and a production plant for Boeing Aircraft of Canada.[15]

The present main terminal was completed in 1968 and has since been expanded to include separate domestic and international terminals. A north runway was completed in 1996.

In 2011 the airport announced that it will enact a program aiming to encourage airlines to start more flights between Vancouver and Asia.[16]

The term Pacific Gateway describes YVR for its proximity to Asia in relation to the rest of Canada, as well as the large Asian population and Canadian-Asian business connections in the region, make Vancouver International Airport the major gateway between Canada and Asia. It has more trans-Pacific flights than any other airport in Canada.


Vancouver International Airport has two terminals: the Main Terminal and the South Terminal. Free Wi-Fi is available in all sections of the airport.

Main Terminal

The Main Terminal is divided in two sections: the Domestic Terminal and the International Terminal. The majority of flights operate at the Main Terminal. The two sections are connected both pre-security and post-security; however, the US border preclearance area is separated off using movable glass partitions which can be adjusted based on the arrangement of swing gates between concourses D and E.

Domestic Terminal

The Domestic Terminal was constructed in 1968 by the Vancouver-based firm Thompson, Berwick and Pratt[17] and recently given a top-to-bottom renovation by Vancouver architect Kasian Kennedy.[18] The Domestic terminal consists of three concourses (A-C).

Concourse A

Concourse A consists of four temporary gates: A8, A9, A10 & A12. These gates are used by WestJet Encore. A new permanent ground-loading concourse is planned to start construction by 2016.

Concourse B

Concourse B comprises gates B12 through B23 and B26 through B28, for a total of 15 gates. Gate B23 is a ground loading ramp accessing stands 23A, 23B, and 23C. Concourse B is primarily used by WestJet for domestic flights, but is also used for domestic flights by Air North, Air Transat, Central Mountain Air, First Air, Hawkair and Sunwing Airlines.

Concourse C

There are 24 gates in Concourse C: C29 through C52. This is the hub for Air Canada and Air Canada Express domestic flights. C50, C51 and C52 are also frequently used by WestJet as they are swing gates and can be used for international arrivals and departures (designated as D50 to D52). In addition, C48 and C49 can receive international/US arrivals.

International Terminal

The International Terminal was designed by Vancouver-based Architectura (now Stantec Architecture Ltd.) with Kansas City-based HNTB Corporation (1994–96).[17] YVR is one of eight Canadian airports with United States border preclearance facilities, which are situated in the International Terminal. All gates in the International Terminal can accept flights arriving from all international and US origins: passengers are directed onto overhead walkways which lead to the customs and immigration area.

Concourse D

Concourse D is used by all international-bound and select US-bound flights from Vancouver. There are 14 gates: D50 to D55, D58, D64 to D67, D70, D71, and D73. All of these gates can handle wide-body aircraft; four gates are fitted with 2 jet bridges, two of which can handle the Airbus A380. British Airways will operate the A380 seasonally to Vancouver starting from May 2016.[19]

D50 to D52 are swing gates that can be used by domestic flights (designated C50 to C52). D67 through D73 are swing gates which may be partitioned off to allow for a higher number of US preclearance flights (designated E67 through E73).

Concourse E

Concourse E is the US border preclearance area and consists of 20 gates: E75 to E87 and E90 to E96. Gates E75 to E78 can accommodate smaller wide-body aircraft and are swing gates which can be used for international departures (as gates D75 to D78).

The majority of US-bound flights operate from Concourse E; the only exceptions are flights from an international origin (Cathay Pacific's Hong Kong—Vancouver—New York and Philippine Airlines' Manila—Vancouver—New York flights), or flights that depart after 8:30pm (e.g. Delta Air Lines' Vancouver—New York flight).

South Terminal

Floatplanes at YVR South Terminal

The South Terminal is a portion of the original pre-1968 terminal which is still in use. This includes the floatplane terminal. It also houses the corporate headquarters and main base of Pacific Coastal Airlines[20] and Harbour Air.[21]

The South Terminal serves regional airlines which fly mostly within British Columbia, in addition to helicopters and chartered flights.[22]


YVR has been awarded the Skytrax World Airport Awards Best Airport in North America a record five years in a row. It is also currently ranked 11th worldwide.


YVR's interior has a uniquely British Columbian theme, featuring one of the most extensive collections of Pacific Northwest Coast Native art in the world, and blues and greens to reflect the colours of the land, sea and sky. This theme was put in place by Vancouver-based Architectura (now Stantec Architecture Ltd). 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 places for an arriving passenger 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. This is the second of two castings of this sculpture; the first casting, "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, The Black Canoe", is now displayed outside the Canadian Embassy in Washington D.C.[23] The Institute for Stained Glass in Canada has documented the stained glass at Vancouver International Airport.[24]

Vancouver Airport Aquarium


Vancouver International Airport is well regarded as one of the most accessible airports in the world. In 2004, the Vancouver International Airport was awarded of the Rick Hansen Accessibility Award, which recognizes "facilities and communities that improve the quality of life for people with mobility limitations".[25] The Vancouver International Airport has exceeded national building code requirements with respect to access for people with disabilities, which Hansen has said "benefits not only people in wheelchairs, but the elderly, the blind, parents pushing strollers and everyone else with mobility problems".[25]

Since 1992, the Vancouver Airport Authority has been working with an independent accessibility consultant to eliminate the physical barriers in the built environment and is "committed to providing fully accessible terminal facilities for people of all backgrounds and capabilities".[26] With 80% of the vacationing traveling public over the age of 55, and with more than 550 million people world-wide that have a disability, the Vancouver International Airport's commitment to meaningful access is a fundamental part of good customer service.[27]

Designated short-term parking spaces and curb-side ramps are available on each level of the terminal building for vehicles displaying a valid SPARC permit, and are located next to main doors near check-in counters and baggage claim areas for easier access. Lowered counters with toe clearance for wheelchair users are also available at check-in, customer care and all retail outlets in the Vancouver Airport. Bathrooms have also been designed to be wheelchair accessible with doorless and no-touch entry features, lowered sinks and handsfree bathroom dispensers. Grab bars and emergency call buttons are also present in all wheelchair accessible toilet stalls.[28]

Low resistance carpeting and other materials such as laminate flooring have been utilized throughout the airport to make it easier for people using wheelchairs and walkers to move throughout the airport. Elevators are large and allow for easy turning in a wheelchair and special wheelchairs designed to fit down aircraft aisles are utilized to assist with boarding and de-planing. Wheelchair lifts have been installed at aircraft gates to provide disabled passengers with their own wheelchairs as quickly as possible after an aircraft lands in Vancouver.[26]

Features that have been implemented throughout the airport to aid those with hearing loss include a public address system to reduce noise pollution for those with hearing aids. The Vancouver International Airport has installed more individual speakers in a given space than is standard, which allows the volume of the speakers to be turned down and provides a better quality of sound. At check-in counters, amplified handsets are available to aid those with hearing aids, and all telephones throughout the airport have adjustable volume controls. "Visual pagers" are dedicated video monitors that are located throughout the airport and convey important information to travellers that have hearing impairments. In the event of an emergency, a video override system displays large bold messages on all entertainment systems, and provides information about the type of emergency and the required course of action from the public. Strobe fire alarms have also been installed throughout the airport and have been carefully programmed to prevent seizures to those with epilepsy.[28] The Vancouver Airport has its own TTY telephone number for incoming inquiries about airport operations and within the terminal there are also 23 public telephone equipped with TTY at both stand up and seated positions.[28]

Vancouver International Airport also has numerous features that have been implemented to assist visually impaired travellers. Three types of flooring are utilized throughout the terminal and function as a texturized guide to assist travellers in identifying their location within the airport. In areas with tile or terrazzo, patterns in the tile help to identify exits. Areas that have carpet help to identify that a gate is close by and areas with laminate flooring indicate retail spaces.[26] Tactile maps are also available at customer service counters throughout the airport, and braille and tactile lettering are used throughout the airport to indicate building features such as washrooms.[28]

Green Coat Ambassadors

Vancouver Airport Authority was one of the first airports in North America to institute a volunteer program in 1989.[29] Volunteers in green vest/jacket are deployed around the airport to provide information, customer service and be the 'eyes and ears' for the various partners in the airport community between the hours of 6 am to 10 pm everyday.[30] Volunteers are given basic training in airport operations and undertake many of the similar trainings mandated to airport employees. Each volunteer is required to obtain Transportation Security Clearance and Restricted Area Identification Card for the purposes of accessing the restricted and sterile areas of the terminal.

YVR Sustainability

Airlines and destinations

Air Canada domestic check-in facilities at the Domestic Terminal.
All official signage in the terminal buildings is trilingual (English, French, and Simplified Chinese) except inside the U.S. Preclearance zone, where only English and French are used.
International arrivals hall
US Preclearance Annexe of the International Terminal's check-in hall.
A Canadian Aboriginal wood sculpture, located on the first floor of the domestic terminal.
The Spirit of Haida Gwaii, the Jade Canoe, located on the International departure level.
Cathay Pacific Cargo plane taking off on a snowy day.
Aerial shot showing Georgia Strait near airport.
A Korean Air Boeing 777-200 bound to Seoul-Incheon being serviced.
A map of all countries served as destinations of Vancouver International Airport (YVR).
Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aeromexico Mexico City (begins December 9, 2015)[31] International-D
Air Canada Beijing–Capital, Brisbane (begins June 1, 2016),[32] Calgary, Edmonton, Hong Kong, Kelowna, London–Heathrow, Los Angeles (resumes May 1, 2016), Mexico City, Montréal–Trudeau, Newark, Ottawa, San Francisco (resumes May 1, 2016), Seoul–Incheon, Shanghai–Pudong, Sydney, Tokyo–Narita, Toronto–Pearson, Whitehorse, Winnipeg
Seasonal: Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, San José del Cabo, Saskatoon
Air Canada Express Prince Rupert, Regina, Sandspit, Seattle/Tacoma, Smithers, Terrace, Victoria, Whitehorse, Winnipeg (begins April 1, 2016)
Seasonal: Calgary, Saskatoon
Air Canada Rouge Honolulu, Kahului, Las Vegas, Los Angeles (ends April 30, 2016), Puerto Vallarta, San Francisco (ends April 30, 2016)
Seasonal: Anchorage, Cancún (begins February 15, 2016),[34] Kailua-Kona (begins December 19, 2015),[35] Osaka-Kansai,[36] Palm Springs,[37] Phoenix[38]
Air China Beijing–Capital International-D
Air France Paris–Charles de Gaulle International-D
Air New Zealand Auckland International-D
Air North Kelowna,[39] Whitehorse Domestic-B
Air North Seasonal Charter: Masset, Sandspit South
Air Transat Cancún, London–Gatwick, Puerto Vallarta
Seasonal: Amsterdam, Glasgow–International, Manchester (UK), Paris–Charles de Gaulle, Rome-Fiumicino (begins June 17, 2016),[40] Santa Clara (begins December 21, 2015),[41] Varadero (begins December 21, 2015)[41]
Air Transat
operated by Enerjet
Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto-Pearson Domestic-B
Alaska Airlines Los Angeles Transborder-E
Alaska Airlines
operated by Horizon Air
Portland (OR), Seattle/Tacoma Transborder-E
All Nippon Airways Tokyo–Haneda International-D
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth, Phoenix Transborder-E
American Eagle Los Angeles,[42] Phoenix Transborder-E
British Airways London–Heathrow International-D
Canadian North Charter: Comox, Fort McMurray, Kelowna, Kamloops, Terrace South
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, New York–JFK International-D
Central Mountain Air Campbell River, Comox, Dawson Creek, Quesnel, Williams Lake Domestic-B
Chartright Air Group[43] Charter: Various Locations in Canada, USA and around the World South
China Airlines Taipei–Taoyuan International-D
China Eastern Airlines Shanghai–Pudong International-D
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou International-D
Condor Seasonal: Frankfurt International-D
Corilair[44] Campbell River South
Delta Air Lines Seasonal: Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis/St Paul, New York–JFK, Salt Lake City Transborder-E
Delta Connection Los Angeles, Minneapolis/St. Paul, Salt Lake City, Seattle/Tacoma Transborder-E
Edelweiss Air Seasonal: Zürich International-D
EVA Air Taipei–Taoyuan International-D
First Air Seasonal Charter: Edmonton, Yellowknife Domestic-B
Flair Airlines Charter: Kelowna, Comox, Fort Nelson, Victoria South
Harbour Air Ganges Harbour, Galiano Island, Miners Bay, Saturna Island, Bedwell Harbour, Victoria Harbour, Victoria Airport, Nanaimo South
Hawkair Dawson Creek, Prince Rupert, Smithers, Terrace Domestic-B
HeliJet Victoria Harbour, Vancouver Harbour, province-wide medevac service South
Icelandair Seasonal: Reykjavík–Keflavík International-D
Island Air Inc.[45] Charter: Friday Harbor and Various Locations in Pacific Northwest South
Island Express Air Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Victoria South
Japan Airlines Tokyo–Narita International-D
KLM Amsterdam International-D
Korean Air Seoul–Incheon International-D
London Air Service[46] Charter: Various Locations in Canada, USA and around the World South
Lufthansa Frankfurt
Seasonal: Munich
Miami Air International Seasonal Charter: Anchorage, Ketchikan, Miami, Nome Transborder-E
National Airlines Seasonal: Orlando/Sanford (begins January 20, 2016)[47] Transborder-E
Northern Thunderbird Air Charter: Smithers South
Ocean Air Floatplanes[48] Charter: Gulf Islands, Vancouver Island and Coastal British Columbia South
Orca Airways Qualicum Beach, Tofino, Victoria South
Pacific Coastal Airlines Anahim Lake, Bella Coola, Campbell River, Comox, Cranbrook, Masset, Port Hardy, Powell River, Trail, Victoria, Williams Lake South
Philippine Airlines Manila, New York–JFK[49] International-D
Qantas Seasonal: Sydney[50] International-D
Rite Brothers Aviation[51] Charter: Port Angeles and Various Locations in Pacific Northwest South
Salt Spring Air Ganges Harbour, Maple Bay, Victoria South
San Juan Airlines Charter: Anacortes, Bellingham, Seattle-Boeing Field/King County Airport, Friday Harbor South
Seair Seaplanes[52] Bedwell Harbour, Galiano Island, Ganges Harbour, Miners Bay, Nanaimo, Port Washington, Saturna Island, Thetis Island South
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu, Shenyang[53] International-D
Sunwing Airlines Cancún, Los Cabos, Puerto Vallarta, Santa Clara, Varadero
Seasonal: Huatulco, Ixtapa/Zihuatanejo, Manzanillo, Mazatlán, Montego Bay, Punta Cana, Toronto–Pearson
Tofino Air Charter: Tofino South
Tofino Air
operated by Gulf Island Seaplanes[54]
Gabriola Island (Silva Bay) South
Tofino Air
operated by Sunshine Coast Air[55]
Charter: Nanaimo Harbour, Sechelt South
United Airlines Houston–Intercontinental, San Francisco
Seasonal: Newark, Washington–Dulles[56]
United Express Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco Transborder-E
West Coast Air Nanaimo, Sechelt, Victoria Harbour South
WestJet Calgary, Cancún, Edmonton, Honolulu, Kahului, Kailua-Kona, Kelowna, Las Vegas, Lihue, Los Angeles, Orange County, Palm Springs, Puerto Vallarta, Regina, Saskatoon, Toronto–Pearson, Winnipeg
Seasonal: London-Gatwick (begins May 6, 2016),[57] Mazatlán, Montréal–Trudeau, Orlando (begins January 1, 2016),[58] Ottawa, Phoenix, San Francisco, San José del Cabo, Whitehorse
WestJet Encore Terrace,[59] Victoria[60] Domestic-A
Westwind Aviation[61] Charter: Friday Harbor and Various Locations in Pacific Northwest South
Whistler Air[62]
operated by Harbour Air
Charter: Whistler/Green Lake South
VanCity Seaplanes[63] Charter: Various Locations in British Columbia South Coast Region South
  • Note 1: All flights to the United States use US Border Preclearance with the exception of flights that depart after 8:30 pm and flights that originate from an international point and continue to the United States after stopping in Vancouver.
  • Note 2: Domestic flights operating from Concourse B may use gates C50-C52.


Airlines Destinations
Ameriflight Ketchikan, Portland, Seattle–Boeing
China Southern Cargo Los Angeles, Shanghai–Pudong
DHL Aviation
operated by ABX Air
Cincinnati, Seattle–Boeing
DHL Aviation
operated by Atlas Air
Cincinnati, Seattle–Boeing
DHL Aviation
operated by Airpac Airlines[64]
FedEx Express Memphis
FedEx Feeder
operated by Empire Airlines
Seasonal: Oakland
FedEx Feeder
operated by Morningstar Air Express
Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto–Pearson, Victoria, Winnipeg
Orca Airways Kamloops, Kelowna, Nanaimo, Victoria
KF Cargo Toronto-Pearson, Victoria
Korean Air Cargo Guadalajara, Seoul–Incheon
Purolator Courier
operated by Cargojet Airways
Calgary, Edmonton, Hamilton, Victoria, Winnipeg, Montreal-Mirabel
SkyLink Express Victoria
UPS Airlines Louisville, Seattle–Boeing


Annual traffic

Annual passenger traffic (enplaned + deplaned) at Vancouver Airport, 1992 thru 2014[65]
Year Passengers Year Passengers Year Passengers
2010 16,778,774 2000 16,032,531
2009 16,179,312 1999 15,806,499
2008 17,852,459 1998 15,508,109
2007 17,495,049 1997 14,818,564
2006 16,922,226 1996 14,037,174
2005 16,418,883 1995 12,006,973
2014 19,358,203 2004 15,725,694 1994 10,830,796
2013 17,971,883 2003 14,321,504 1993 10,235,015
2012 17,596,901 2002 14,877,536 1992 9,935,285
2011 17,032,780 2001 15,476,762


In May 2005, the federal government, which owns the airport 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 over the term of the lease, which ends in 2052. Currently, the airport authority pays about $80 million each year in rent.

Passengers traveling through YVR are no longer required to pay a separate airport improvement fee; it is now included in the ticket price.

Public transit connections

Rapid Transit (SkyTrain)

Construction of the Skytrain Canada Line .

The international and domestic terminals are served by YVR–Airport Station, a terminus station of the Canada Line. A connector ($117 million, completed in 2007) links the international terminal with the domestic terminal and serves as the arrival and departure area for users of the Canada Line. The Canada Line, one of three existing lines of Metro Vancouver's SkyTrain rapid transit network, opened in August 2009, in advance of the 2010 Winter Olympics in the following February. Vancouver's airport was the only one in Canada with a rail rapid transit connection (until Toronto Pearson opened the Union Pearson Express). Vancouver International Airport contributed $300 million to the Canada Line construction.


Late at night and during Canada Line service interruptions, the N10 night bus connects the airport's international and domestic terminals to Richmond and downtown Vancouver. The airport's south terminal is served by the C92 bus, which connects to the Canada Line at Bridgeport Station.


YVR completed a $1.4-billion multi-year capital development plan, which included a four-gate expansion to the International Terminal Wing, completed in June 2007. Two of the four new gates are conventional wide-bodied gates and two are able to accommodate the Airbus A380. The international terminal addition includes interior design elements intended to represent British Columbia, including a stream in a pathway and fish and jellyfish tanks.

A five-gate and food and retail expansion was completed in 2009 for Domestic Terminal's C-Pier. The train that links downtown Vancouver, YVR and Richmond opened in August 2009.

Vancouver International Airport Authority has developed 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.[66]

Operation Yellow Ribbon

The airport's reputation as a 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 of Canada that has the capability of handling large aircraft for trans-Pacific flights. The airport handled 34 flights, the third highest total of flights that landed at a Canadian airport involved in the operation, behind Halifax and Gander, carrying 8,500 passengers, more passengers than any other Canadian airport, from Asia to destinations on the United States West Coast and points beyond.

The airport won the 2001 Airport Management Award from the B.C. Aviation Council[67] and was cited for overcoming many challenges in a professional and compassionate way.[68]


There are several fixed base operators that service aircraft at Vancouver International Airport:

Other facilities

At one time Pacific Western Airlines had its corporate headquarters at the airport.[69]

Fire and policing

Vancouver International Airport Emergency Services Team is the primary fire services at the airport. The airport fire station and tenders (4) are owned by the Vancouver Airport Authority. Richmond Fire has additional resources when required from Fire Hall 1 at 6960 Gilbert Road, as well as the Canadian Coast Guard.

Policing at the airport is provided by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police Airport Detachment.

Catering Kitchens

Incidents and accidents

  • On August 19, 1995, Douglas C-47B (DC-3) C-GZOF of Air North crashed during an emergency return to the airport killing one of the three crew. The aircraft was on a ferry flight to Prince Rupert Airport when the starboard propellor went into overspeed and the decision was made to return to Vancouver International.[71]
  • On October 19, 1995, a Canadian Airlines McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aborted takeoff on runway 26 (now 26L) two seconds after the V1 call. The aircraft ended up in the soft ground west of the end of runway, causing the failure of the nose gear. All 243 passengers and 14 crew escaped with no more than minor injuries.[72]
  • On October 14, 2007, a Polish immigrant, Robert Dziekanski, died after being shot with a taser by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police at the airport. Dziekański, who did not speak English, became agitated after waiting approximately 10 hours at the arrivals hall because he could not find his mother. While police were attempting to take Dziekanski into custody he was tased by officers and subsequently died. The subsequent Braidwood Inquiry began in May 2008. In June 2010, the judge found that the use of the Taser was not justified. The RCMP issued an apology to Dziekanski's mother. The commission also found that Tasers have the capability to injure or kill by causing heart irregularities, especially where the individual is medically or emotionally compromised.[73]
  • On October 19, 2007, at approximately 4:10 pm, a Piper Seneca bound for Pitt Meadows Airport took off from YVR and crashed into a nearby apartment building in Richmond. 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.
  • On December 10, 2007 Sikh protesters paralyzed the airport caused by the deportation of illegal paralyzed refuge Laibar Singh.[74]
  • 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 taxiing 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 fatalities.
  • On July 9, 2009, at approximately 10:08pm, a Piper Navajo airplane originating from Victoria crashed into an industrial area in Richmond, across from IKEA on Sweden Way. The two pilots were killed. It was owned and operated by Canadian Air Charters and was carrying units of blood for Canadian Blood Services at the time. Officials say that wake turbulence was the main cause of the crash. Fatigue, along with diminished depth perception in darkness, was also a factor.[75]
  • On October 27, 2011, at around 4:15pm, a Northern Thunderbird Air Beechcraft King Air 100 attempted to land on the south runway but missed by about 900 metres (3,000 ft), hitting a lamppost and car, then crashing on nearby Russ Baker Way and Gilbert Road at the west end of Dinsmore Bridge. There were seven passengers and two crew members on board; only the pilot was confirmed dead at 9:00 pm that evening, while the others survived with various injuries. Two on the ground were also injured.[76] On November 16, 2011, the co-pilot of the flight died as well.[77]

Nearby major airports

SEA (205 km (127 mi))
PDX (403 km (250 mi))
YYC (688 km (428 mi))
YEG (811 km (504 mi))
YYJ (63 km (39 mi))
YLW (288 km (179 mi))
YXS (523 km (325 mi))


  1. ^
  2. ^
  3. ^ Canada Flight Supplement. Effective 0901Z 24 July 2014 to 0901Z 18 September 2014
  4. ^ Synoptic/Metstat Station Information
  5. ^ a b "YVR Aircraft Movements 1992-2014". Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  6. ^ a b "YVR Passengers (Enplaned + Deplaned) 1992-2014". Retrieved 2015-01-28. 
  7. ^ "YVR > Our Blog > YVR Named Best Airport in North America". Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  8. ^ a b YVR Media Relations (2013-04-10). "Vancouver International Airport named Best Airport in North America". Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  9. ^ "2010 Regional Airport Awards". Skytrax. 2010. Retrieved 2010-03-25. 
  10. ^ "2007 Regional Airport Awards". Skytrax. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-08-11. Retrieved 2007-08-26. 
  11. ^ Campbell, Alan (April 23, 2012). "YVR wins best airport award again". Vancouver Sun. Retrieved 2012-05-22. 
  12. ^ "2006 Airport of the Year: Results". Skytrax. 2007. Archived from the original on 2007-03-18. Retrieved 2007-04-04. 
  13. ^ "Airport Divestiture Status Report". January 12, 2011. Retrieved 2011-03-03. 
  14. ^ "YVR Leadership". Retrieved 2012-09-20. 
  15. ^ "YVR > About Us > History". Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
  16. ^ Hume, Mark. "Vancouver airport launches plan to lure Asia-Pacific traffic." The Globe and Mail. Wednesday January 25, 2012. Updated Friday January 27, 2012. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  17. ^ a b Harold D. Kalman. "Airport Architecture". The Canadian Encyclopedia. Retrieved 2013-05-16. 
  18. ^ "Home | Architecture". Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  19. ^ "British Airways to Launch A380 Vancouver Service from May 2016". Retrieved 2015-07-29. 
  20. ^ "Contact Us." Pacific Coastal Airlines. Retrieved 2011-12-04. "Pacific Coastal Airlines Head Office Vancouver International Airport - South Terminal 4440 Cowley Crescent Unit 204 Richmond BC V7B 1B8"
  21. ^ [3]
  22. ^ "YVR > Getting To & From YVR > To& From Airport South". Retrieved August 10, 2015. 
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External links

  • Vancouver International Airport Authority
  • , the airport directory of the Canadian Owners and Pilots AssociationPlaces to FlyVancouver International Airport page on
  • Vancouver International Airport Authority Union
  • Past three hours METARs, SPECI and current TAFs for Vancouver International Airport from Nav Canada as available.
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