Vancouver International Airport is a world-class airport located in the city of Richmond, just 20 minutes away from downtown Vancouver. Known by its 3-letter location identifier YVR, this airport is served by 55 airlines linking British Columbia to 125 non-stop destinations across Canada, the United States, and around the globe.
YVR is Canada’s second busiest airport (after Toronto Pearson International Airport) and has more trans-Pacific flights than any other airport in Canada. YVR first opened in 1931, welcoming just over 1000 passengers that year. In 2016, YVR welcomed 22.3 million passengers, and its three runways handled over 281,000 takeoffs and landings.
YVR is perfectly located to serve Vancouver and its surrounding municipalities. The Canada Line, a high-speed rail line, completed in 2009 prior to the 2010 Olympic Games, connects YVR to downtown Vancouver. From there, passengers can access Burnaby, Port Moody, Coquitlam, New Westminster and Surrey via other Skytrain lines.
YVR has won the Skytrax “Best Airport in North America” award for the past 7 consecutive years. It is easy to see why. YVR is accessible by rapid transit, has signage in English, French and Chinese, and prioritizes efficiency and safety. Its high-speed baggage transport system can move baggage anywhere around the airport in under 30 minutes. Self-serve border express kiosks (using technology developed by YVR, and is now used in airports around the world) reduce wait times for passengers. The airport also conveniently offers free Wi-Fi, baggage carts, and a multilingual app that assists passengers navigate the airport, check wait times, confirm itineraries, and more.
YVR has won accessibility awards from the Rick Hansen Foundation by ensuring that passengers with mobility issues can travel around the airport safely and easily.
YVR has an award-winning volunteer program. It’s 500 “Green Coat” volunteers speak 21 different languages between them, help passengers feel assisted and welcome in unfamiliar surroundings.
The airport is often the first and last impression of British Columbia for visitors. The best of BC is reflected in its architecture and art displays. YVR is a cultural hub, with spectacular Aboriginal art exhibits, such as Bill Reid’s The Spirit of Haida Gwaii: The Jade Canoe, located in the international terminal. There are many other impressive Aboriginal art exhibits, such as the Flight Symbol Whorl by Susan Point, and the Clayoquot Welcome Figures, by Joe David.
YVR has teamed up with the Vancouver Aquarium to introduce visitors to the unique marine habitat of British Columbia’s Pacific coastline. Two large tanks featuring eels, rockfish, anemones, jellyfish, and marine plants, gathered from Tofino and Howe Sound, are on display in the international terminal.
YVR’s restaurants and cafes offer a variety of local and international cuisine. There is luxury and duty-free shopping within the airport. Located a few minutes away via the Canada Line Skytrain, the McArthur Glen Designer Outlets provide another exciting shopping opportunity for airport visitors.
The luxury Fairmont Airport Hotel is located right inside the airport itself, providing respite from the rigours of travel, and the ultimate in convenience. Enjoy a meal and do some plane-spotting in the beautiful Fairmont Jetside bar and restaurant. The hotel also has a pool, fitness centre and spa.
With millions of passengers passing through its doors each year, YVR has continually improved the airport experience. For British Columbians and its visitors, YVR has become a destination in itself.