Vancouver International Airport earns highest rated building award for accessibility

Dec 7 2018, 3:04 am

Vancouver International Airport has received another accolade, and this time it has to do with the accessibility of the airport’s design.

The airport earned the ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification (RHFAC), making YVR the first airport to receive the rating and the highest rated building in the program.

YVR achieved a record high score of 93 out of 100 points, with accessibility features such as universal food and service counters suitable for people using wheeled mobility devices, low-resistance carpeting for easier movement, textured terminal flooring to assist wayfinding, clearly marked signage, curbside ramps and and assistance, and accessible parking in all lots with accessible bus service to long-term parking.

As well, there is universal seating throughout the terminal building, universally accessible washrooms, pet relief areas for individuals travelling with assistance animals, adaptive speakers throughout the building, and customer care staff trained in accessibility.

“I’m proud to congratulate YVR on being the first airport to achieve ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification program,” said Rick Hansen, Founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, in a statement.

“I’ve watched YVR systematically make progress on accessibility over many decades. People with visible and invisible disabilities experience accessibility challenges every day and with record numbers of passengers travelling through Canada’s airports, it’s critical that these spaces meet everyone’s needs.”

RHFAC is a new program established by the Foundation, and to date over 1,100 buildings in the province are registered to be rated by the program’s team of accessibility experts.

Buildings are assessed and scored by RHFAC on a scale of one to five in eight different categories, such as vehicular and exterior access, interior circulation, and communication systems.

Later this month, YVR is anticipated to hit a new record milestone of seeing 25 million passengers pass through its terminal facilities.

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Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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