Canada’s second largest airport has won yet another accolade, this time landing the title of 2016’s Best Airport in the World.
Vancouver International Airport (YVR) was awarded the title by the CAPA Centre for Aviation (CAPAC) in a ceremony held in Amsterdam earlier today.
“This is an incredible achievement and is a testament to YVR’s success and our growing influence on the world stage,” said Craig Richmond, YVR’s President and CEO. “We have achieved this milestone thanks to our focus on safety, teamwork, accountability and innovation—and our community based, not-for-profit governance model, under which we constantly improve the airport for our passengers, our partners and our communities.”
But unlike the annual Skytrax awards largely based on passenger comfort and airport design, which YVR has consecutively won for seven years in the North American category, the CAPAC title is given to the airport that is the biggest standout strategically, has turned itself into a leader, and done the most to advance the progress of the global aviation industry.
For YVR, this includes: improvements to the terminal that reduce greenhouse gas emissions; the in-house development of BorderXpress automatic passport control kiosks; partnering with McArthurGlen to construct an outlet shopping centre at the airport; and the creation of InterVISTAS, a consulting service company that was formerly the airport’s marketing and planning department.
But YVR’s most transformative policy is perhaps its recent implementation of its ConnectYVR program, with airlines now paying 15% less to land and berth at the gates as a means of attracting new airlines and routes to the airport.
Passenger numbers have also skyrocketed over the last three years. YVR saw a record 20.3-million passengers in 2015, one million more than the previous year, and it is expected that the total figure for 2016 will exceed 22 million.
This year to date, 18 new flight services serving 11 new destinations have been established at YVR, including new airlines Xiamen Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines. Much of the recent growth can be attributed to Air Canada’s decision to further develop YVR as its Transpacific Hub, adding new direct routes to Brisbane, New Delhi, Osaka, San Jose, and Chicago.
WestJet also introduced four new frequent direct routes at YVR serving the United Kingdom’s London Gatwick Airport, Hamilton and London in Ontario, and Halifax.
To accommodate its projected passenger and air traffic growth of 25 million passengers by 2020 and as many as 31 million by 2026, the airport authority is planning for a major expansion of its terminal building and supporting infrastructure.
This is the first time a North American airport has won CAPAC’s best airport award. Previous winner include Singapore Changi Airport, Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, and Beijing Capital International Airport.
Earlier this year, YVR won not only another Skytrax title for Best Airport in North America but it also landed the title of Best Airport Hotel – awarded directly to Fairmont Vancouver Airport Hotel located in the east end of the transborder terminal and ranked third for Best Staff Service in North America.