YVR Winter Readiness: Enhancements and Preparations

YVR Winter Readiness: Enhancements and Preparations for 2023

Maintaining a safe and secure airport operation for travellers, employees and our community is the focus of everything we do. To operate safely, YVR needs a robust plan and the right people to make it happen. Over the past year, we have invested more than $40 million and worked continuously to prepare our people and operations for the 2023 winter season. 

The enhancements we’ve made in the last year fall into four categories: 

  • Operational Changes
  • Upgraded Traveller Experience 
  • Data & Technology Enhancements 
  • Greater Collaboration

Operational Changes


We’ve developed new operational plans to help bolster our overall preparedness, improve procedures, and increase available equipment to help manage severe weather events and irregular operations. This includes:

  • New gate protocols requiring aircraft to deplane passengers within 30 minutes of taxiing
  • 16 additional airfield maintenance positions and an increased number of bridge and apron crews
  • More efficient de-icing processes and increased de-icing storage capacity
  • A significant investment in airfield snow and ice control measures including the purchase of 19 pieces of snow clearing equipment
  • Better management of aircraft movements, airport flow and on-time performance through the launch of our Airport Reservation Office (ARO) 
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Upgraded Traveller Experience

In order to better support our passengers, we’ve set up new zones across the airport with dedicated support teams and zone leads to ensure passengers can always find a friendly face to support them in their travels. Visitors to YVR will see the difference through:

  • Additional staff stationed throughout the terminal
  • A new Curbside Greeting Program, designed to welcome arriving guests and deliver seamless accessibility support for travellers with special needs

In addition to this, improvements to YVR’s website and digital tools will provide travellers with access to essential and timely information.

  • Our passenger Journey Platform, available on mobile phones, helps viewers easily navigate through the airport
  • YVR.ca has a revamped news page, acting as a multi-faceted hub for up-to-date airport information. It will also serve as our go-to space for communicating during irregular operations, including winter weather events.
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Data & Technology Enhancements


Using predictive analytics and digital tools helps YVR generate highly accurate forecasts for all traveller processes. We’ll be able to better predict passenger movements and ‘see’ where we think we’ll need to provide extra staff weeks in advance. Our technology can:

  • Improve ability to track delayed baggage through real-time technology and data
  • Expanded digital tools for travellers including YVR EXPRESS and YVR TimeLine
  • Critical winter related updates provided via a live operations, data-focused dashboard
  • Greater use of YVR’s Digital Twin which improves our awareness across multiple facets of our operations
  • Implementation of advanced weather monitoring systems, able to provide real-time weather data.
Two airport workers in hi-vis vests smiling at the camera from inside the U.S. Departures terminal

Greater Collaboration


There are over 26,000 people who work on Sea Island to help keep the airport running smoothly and efficiently. The frequency of communication with all our partners and employees across YVR’s ecosystem has been significantly increased. This new ability allows us to share operational observations and analytical insights, which in-turn fosters data-driven decision making across and between all members. Greater collaboration has enabled:

  • Implementation of new information sharing platforms to increase multi-agency operational understanding
  • Daily touchpoints with partner organization, enhancing transparency and supporting faster, smarter decision making
  • Weekly performance reviews and look-aheads, both with YVR internal teams and external partners.
  • Implementation of a revised Demand Management Program, helping balance staffing levels against periods of both high and less high operational need.