Vancouver International Airport begins using new terminal building expansion

Nov 10 2021, 2:04 am

With depressed passenger volumes, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has been operating conservatively since Spring 2020 by limiting the use of its vast terminal building to reduce operating costs.

But with a steady rebound in passenger volumes from increased traveler confidence and the relaxation of travel restrictions, YVR has been gradually reopening previously shuttered sections of the terminal building since early summer to accommodate the rising numbers.

The incremental reopening of the terminal building’s wings has now reached the newly completed Pier D international terminal building expansion.

Ever since Pier D reached full completion in January 2021, it has been unused, but that changed as of the past week. A spokesperson for the Vancouver Airport Authority told Daily Hive Urbanized that passenger demand has warranted the opening of Pier D for largely cargo volumes and some passenger operations.

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

Sustaining a recovery trend that first began in early September 2021, the spokesperson added that YVR is still averaging 28,000 to 30,000 passengers daily, which amounts to a significant rebound from earlier this year and the pandemic low of only 69,000 passengers for the entire month of April 2020. YVR expects passenger volumes will pick up in late November and throughout December as the holiday travel season gets underway.

Over the coming months, more of the Pier D space will be used as needed, and it is anticipated it will be open for full use before the start of Summer 2022, when global aviation is forecast to see a very strong rebound.

Construction on Pier D at a cost of $300 million began in 2018 for an opening by late June 2020. In late March 2020, however, construction came to a temporary halt due to the pandemic’s sudden onset and impact on YVR’s financial position. A decision was made in August 2020 to restart the final construction work on the nearly-finished terminal expansion.

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

The Pier D expansion features eight new additional gates, including four traditional jet bridge gates and four remote stand bus gates.

In addition to the increased capacity, Pier D will provide international passengers with a wide range of retail, restaurants (over 20 new food and beverage concepts), amenities, and services.

The interior design evolves the airport’s motif of a West Coast-themed experience, with an eye-catching glassed-in island forest with access to the outdoors — setting a new bar for the airport’s design. There is an opening in the roof that allows the forest to be saturated with rainfall or even snowfall.

The new atrium space, where the island forest is located, also features a unique digital public art ribbon as one of the immersive features of the ever-evolving design of the airport.

Pier D is the largest expansion of YVR since the complete modernization and overhaul project of the terminal facilities in 1996.

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

vancouver international airport yvr pier d terminal

The new Pier D international terminal expansion of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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