Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the second-busiest airport in Canada next to Toronto Pearson, hosting 17.5 million passengers during 2007 (326,000 aircraft movements and 16.4 million passengers in 2006).

The airport was first established as a purpose-built facility on Sea Island, Richmond, BC in 1929. It is conveniently situated around 15km from the downtown area of Vancouver and so is ideal for business use. The airport has a full complement of international destinations with daily flights to the US (US border preclearance), Europe (routes need more development), Asia (closest and therefore most convenient North American airport) and the Pacific regions.

Because of its location and facilities the airport has been the recipient of many best airport awards, the most recent being the Skytrax award for best North American airport in 2007. Vancouver is currently readying itself to host the 2010 Winter Olympic Games and the airport expects 21 million passengers by 2013 and 25 million by 2020.

The airport is administered by Vancouver International Airport Authority who is now administering a new master plan for airport development (2007-2027). A further investment of C$2.8bn is likely.

"Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is the second-busiest airport in Canada."

VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL TERMINALS

There are three terminals at Vancouver International Airport including the recently refurbished domestic terminal (constructed in 1968). A further C$150m improvement project is currently underway involving the international terminal (constructed in the 1990s), and the south terminal (part of the original terminal serving regional airlines).

A new international terminal expansion is now underway (west chevron), worth C$420m but part of an overall C$1.4bn project. The first phase (west wing) including four new gates with two capable of serving newer aircraft such as the Boeing 787 and the Airbus A380 were opened in June 2007. The remaining five gates of the nine will be opened at the completion of phase two in 2009.

The security systems for the new extension (and upgrade of existing security card readers and controls) have been provided by CEM Systems (other systems will include biometric controls and vehicle management). Kasian are the project designers for the expansion and Stantec Architecture are project consultants. The general contractors and project managers are PCL Constructors Westcoast Ltd. The HVAC work was carried out by Keith Plumbing and Heating.

EXPANSION FACILITIES

The link building expansion will include metal decking, elevators, escalators, moving walkways, apron drive bridges, as well as new security, CCTV and communications systems.

The expansion will also include a major new retail development for the airport as well as one of the largest indoor aquaria in North America with separate sections for fish / marine creatures and jellyfish. There will also be a thematic water feature representing a river.

Level three of five will house mechanical service rooms and electrical plant rooms. In addition the level will have moving walkways, hold rooms, seating and passenger services. On level 2 there could be a new baggage hall and also a new airport authority maintenance shop and office area as well as retail storage space.

RAIL TRANSIT

The airport is also participating in the construction of a new railway transit linking Richmond to the airport and then the downtown area of Vancouver.

"The ‘Canada Line’ project is expected to be completed by November 2009 in time for the Winter Olympics."

The ‘Canada Line’ project (Transit BC) is expected to be completed by November 2009 in time for the Winter Olympics.

The project is costing a total of C$2bn (airport share is C$300m). Construction of the airport segment of the Canada Line includes building 1.9km of elevated guideway and 1.7km of at grade guideway, bridge construction (new Middle Arm Bridge), partial reconstruction of the North Service Road, construction of the Templeton overpass and associated roadways, and construction of three Canada Line stations.

The main terminal airport station (an additional station is planned to serve a new terminal building in the future) will be linked to a new five-storey link building between the international and domestic terminals (new central hub for the airport) by a walkway (completed in 2007 at a cost of C$117m). The 36,508m² link building will provide increased international check-in capacity, passenger screening, additional baggage systems and office space.