Vancouver International Airport CEO Craig Richmond announces retirement

Nov 25 2019, 2:38 pm

By the time he retires next year, Craig Richmond will have served as the president and CEO of the Vancouver Airport Authority for seven years.

Richmond led Vancouver International Airport (YVR) during its most significant period of growth ever, with passenger numbers soaring to nearly 26 million in 2018 — up from just under 18 million in 2013 when he first took on the position.

Under his leadership, YVR developed strategies that actively sought to attract more airlines and routes, and began a $9.1-billion, 20-year expansion and improvement program, which includes a significant multi-phase expansion of the terminal building. The first phase of the terminal expansion, the elongated Pier D, is slated for a Summer 2020 opening.

As well, over the years, YVR was regarded highly in various industry aviation rankings, including being named as North America’s best airport by Skytrax for 10 consecutive years.

“Craig has led YVR through a period of unprecedented growth all while ensuring that we delivered on our mandate, as a not-for-profit community-based organization, to provide social and economic benefits to the region,” said Annalisa King, chair of the board of directors for the Vancouver Airport Authority, in a statement.

“He has also been recognized both locally and in the broader industry as a champion of reconciliation, accessibility, sustainability and diversity. While Craig helped drive this culture, everyone at the airport, including our employees, our Board and our partners, has a great passion for YVR. Finding a leader who fosters this passion and culture is of the utmost importance to YVR’s Board of Directors.”

Richmond first joined YVR in 1995 and held various operational roles, including manager of airside operations and vice-president of operations. He eventually worked as the CEO of seven global airports for Vantage Airport Group, before returning to YVR to lead the Vancouver Airport Authority. Prior to his management roles, he was a Canadian fighter jet pilot.

He is scheduled to leave the post on June 30, 2020. A global search firm will be engaged to recruit his replacement.

“The past six years have been an extraordinary time at YVR and I have so much pride in what we’ve accomplished together,” said Richmond.

“None of these accomplishments would have happened without the exceptional team at the Airport Authority and the 26,500 employees working in the airport community. I want to thank the Board of Directors for trusting me to lead the team; I know that I’m leaving YVR in steady, courageous and creative hands.”