Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has identified 75 projects as part of its 20-year YVR 2037 Master Plan, a $5.6 billion effort that includes everything from terminal expansions to the potential of a new geothermal plant.
Vancouver Airport Authority officials have entered Phase 3 of the YVR 2037 Master Plan, allowing for community feedback until Feb. 20, before the plan gets presented to the Federal Minister of Transport for review and approval. That is the final step before work can start at the airport in Richmond, B.C. The airport expects to use an Airport Improvement Fee and its AA credit rating to pay for the costs of the projects without asking for public funds.
Officials say that YVR passenger counts have continued to rise and the airport is now operating at 88 percent capacity, expected to hit 100 percent by 2020. While the airport authority investigated multiple options for expanding its terminal, it selected a plan that expands the airport in five separate directions and keeps it all one large terminal instead of creating a new terminal in a differing area or on nearby property.
And that terminal expansion effort tops the list of needs. Adding four new gates to the international terminal, dubbed Pier D, will likely lead the project’s effort with groundbreaking on that portion of the 75-project list expected for 2017. International passengers grew by 15 percent last year alone. YVR expects to start with an initial four-gate expansion ready by 2021 with the potential to add four more gates in the following years, if still needed.
YVR, which hit a record 22.3 million passengers last year, serves more direct mainland Chinese destinations than any other airport in the Americas or Europe, YVR officials told local media following a presentation about the proposal.
Other key projects as part of the list include a second parkade, parallel taxiways—including one taxiway over Grant McConachie Way—and potentially a new geothermal plant. While the airport authority says it doesn’t expect to need a new runway in the next two decades, if it does, the plan includes potentially adding one into open water south of nearby Iona Beach Regional Park.
The plan also calls for improved ground access.
Required approval must happen before construction can start and even then, not every project on the list will get the green light from airport officials. But expansion at YVR will happen over the next 20 years.
Follow Tim Newcomb on Twitter at @tdnewcomb.