Airport review

A Brief Overview: Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

Vancouver International Airport is the best Canadian Airport. It is also one of the few airports in the country to offer US Border Preclearance service.

Further, the airport’s management lies in the hands of the not-for-profit organization, Vancouver Airport Authority.

However, if you are planning to visit the second-busiest airport in Canada, this article will help you navigate through the airport better.

So, let’s begin with the airport terminals.

Vancouver International Airport Terminals

If you score air tickets from Vancouver you gain access from one three terminals at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR). These are the Domestic, International, and the South terminal.

Also, the former two are connected with each other and collectively known as the main terminal. The latter along with the floatplane docks is the ‘Airport South.’

Further, movable glass partitions divide the US Border Preclearance within the main terminal.

1. Domestic Terminal

So, if you catch flights to Vancouver from within Canada, you will enter YVR through the domestic terminal. You shall also observe the division of gates across three segments. These are the three piers of the Domestic Terminal:

  • A Pier

This pier consists of gates A6-12. All the six gates facilitate the aircraft movement of WestJet Encore.

  • B Pier:

There are 14 gates in Pier B. The gate numbers are B13-23 and B26-28. In the future, gates B14-17 will cater to international arrivals.

Moreover, if you book a flight to Vancouver with WestJet, you shall enter the airport through Pier B. Other airlines that use Pier B include Air Transat, Sunwing Airlines, Flair Airlines, and Air North.

  • C Pier:

Gate numbers C29-52 lie in Pier C, a total of 24 gates. These serve as a Hub for Air Canada, as well as domestic Air Canada Express flights. The last three gates namely C50-52, facilitate aircraft movement by WestJet. These three gates are swing gates.

2. International Terminal

Booking flight to Vancouver from Delhi or any other international location will lead you to the International Terminal. You shall be then routed to the customs and immigration area via overhead walkways.

  • D Pier

You shall use Pier D, if you book flight from Vancouver to Delhi or any other international destination, except a few US locations. There are 17 gates, with numbers D50-59, D62, D68-78. Out of which, D56, 57, and 59 are bus gates.

Moreover, all the gates can facilitate the movement of widebody aircraft. The expansion of this pier to the west will allow for more gates and operations.

  • E Pier

There are 20 gates in Pier E. These are E76-88 and E90-96. E76-78 are swing gates for international departures. Also, Pier E is the US border preclearance facility. Most of the US flights operate from Pier E.

3. South Terminal

This portion is the original terminal used pre-1968. It is operational to date and houses the corporate headquarter.

Also, it comprises of Pacific Coastal Airlines and Harbour Air bases. South Terminal caters to regional airlines operating within British Columbia.

Vancouver International Airport Architecture

Pay attention to the interiors when you book airline tickets to Vancouver, Canada, and land at YVR airport.

1. Most-Extensive Art Collection

Vancouver International Airport has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of Pacific Northwest Coast native art.

But, perhaps the highlight of the airport is the aboriginal art collection which comprises of wooden spoons and totem poles.

2. Aquarium and Creek

The International Terminal has a 114,000-liter aquarium containing about 850 sea animals.

Further, the indoor creek has cafes, shopping complexes, relaxing seating, and beautiful artworks.

3. Theme

The colors for interiors are composed of shades of blues and greens. These symbolize the earth, sky, and sea. The theme is courtesy of Stantec Architecture Ltd.

You will also note that a lot of carpets are used.

4. Natural Light

The reason behind using so much glass for the interiors is to make way for natural light.

5. International Departures

If you book flight tickets from Vancouver to India or any other international destination, you are in for a treat. Moreover, the international departures hall houses beautiful sculptures and artworks.

These include a bronze Billy Reid sculpture, “The Jade Canoe,” and “The Spirit of Haida Gwaii.”

6. Observation Area

The Public Observation Area features floor-to-ceiling windows. However, they offer passengers an unimpeded view of the Strait of Georgia and the airfield.

Also, you can head over to Level 4 of the domestic terminal to view the same. 

Vancouver International Airport Accessibility

Vancouver International Airport is perhaps the most accessible airport in the world. The airport aims to make navigation easy, especially for passengers with mobility and physical limitations.

Also, the airport authority has been working with accessibility consultants to minimize barriers in the environment.

1. Passengers with Mobility and Agility Loss

    1. Passengers can access all food and beverage counters as they are wheelchair and mobility device-accessible.
    2. Also, the seating across the airport is a mix of chairs with and without arms.
    3. The flight and gate information displays are positioned at a lower level.
    4. People with disabilities have designated areas at all parking lots.
    5. Moreover, to facilitate the movement of wheeled mobility devices, the airport uses low resistance carpeting to cover the floors.
    6. Wheelchair and equipment lifts are installed near the aircraft gates to offer easy loading of assistive devices.
    7. Moreover, the washrooms are equipped with emergency buttons and universally accessible features.

2. Passengers with Hearing Loss

    1. The lower volumes of terminal address systems help in clearer audibility for people using hearing assistive devices.
    2. Also, customer Care counters with visual paging service.
    3. Amplified handsets available for passengers checking-in.
    4. Moreover, the airport features low-frequency strobe or visual fire alarms.
    5. The low-resistance carpeting reduces the noise levels.
    6. YVR monitors feature welcome messaging in sign language.

3. Passengers with Vision Loss

    1. Directional signage is glare-free and high-contrast.
    2. Also, Braille washroom signage available
    3. Airport flooring uses different materials to guide people with vision loss. For example, a tile or terrazzo means an exit is nearby. Similarly carpets indicate close proximity of gates. The retail shop area has laminated floors.

Also, to make your time worthwhile at Vancouver  Airport, there are numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. This includes retail shops to spas, and everything in between.

So, next time you book airline tickets to Vancouver, take into account the information in the article for better navigation.