Vancouver airport outlines initiatives in response to recent travel disruptions

Vancouver International Airport at dusk.
Photo Credit: Vancouver International Airport

LONDON – Tamara Vrooman, President & CEO at Vancouver Airport Authority, has issued a statement to outline a series of initiatives to be implemented by Vancouver International Airport (YVR) following the travel disruptions caused by winter storms in December.

The statement opened by noting the stress placed on travellers by the travel disruptions, particularly coming after a significant period of pandemic related restrictions. Tamara Vrooman observed:

“We recognize that this past holiday season was very hard on travellers, their friends, and families. Many people were looking forward to travelling again, particularly since this was the first December in three years where most travel restrictions were lifted.”

The president and CEO went on to acknowledge that the systems and processes the airport community has relied on for decades “must be improved given the realities our industry has experienced post-pandemic along with increasing climate-related weather events.”

Airport response

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is undertaking an enhanced after-action review that will bring together input from airlines, partners, suppliers, and employees. The CEO notes that they have engaged KPMG and global aviation planning and advisory firm, Arup, to assist in this review.

YVR will also be engaging the travelling public to hear directly about their experiences and suggestions for improvement relating to information and support during the December travel disruption. Both processes will commence next week.

In addition, we have implemented initial measures to help ensure a similar situation does not occur while the review is ongoing. These measures include greater communication and coordination with airlines around gating, towing, and communication with passengers.

These initiatives and learnings will inform continued improvements at YVR and allow the airport to work across the aviation ecosystem to enhance the overall travel experience for passengers.

Last year, the airport had projected one of its biggest increases in passenger through flow in its almost one century history.

Speaking at the time in October 2022, CEO Vrooman observed: “We are on track to welcome more than 17 million passengers this year, following an increase of 168 per cent from January to August and the single biggest increase of travellers in our 90-year history.”

The airport had identified growth priorities centred around land use, development of the cargo market and addressing climate change issues.

In the post-pandemic recovery era, the recent travel disruptions brought about by inclement weather conditions, simply added a further layer of difficulty to airport recovery.

 “The pandemic was tough on aviation and travel. And the industry is still recovering from it. The 26,000 employees who work at YVR have been resilient, creative and empathetic throughout. All qualities on display recently and all qualities needed in the future,” CEO Vrooman concluded.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 3 Min Read
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