In 1927 Charles Lindbergh, one of histories finest aviators, was cordially invited to visit the city of Vancouver following his non-stop, solo, transatlantic flight. As fate would have it he declined stating, ‘There is no fit field to land on’. Needless to say Mr. Lindbergh’s words caused the city of Vancouver to invest $600,000 in an effort to construct a new airport to replace the existing grass airstrip. The rest, as they say, is history.
During World War II there was a large expansion of the existing airport facilities.
The city of Vancouver leases the airport out to the Federal Government in 1940.
The Department of National Defense and Transport operate and contribute to purchasing new land, new aircraft hangers, and a new manufacturing plant.
Airport served as a military training ground during the war, as well as a centre for air defense and munitions manufacturing.
In 1947, the city of Vancouver resumes control of the airport and begins serving a number of airlines.
In 1948, the airport is officially named Vancouver International Airport.
The airport opens up a second new airport terminal that eventually becomes a general aviation terminal.
In 1953, the Federal Government builds a new three kilometer runway.
In 1957 more land is purchased to expand the airport, in addition to a third terminal being constructed in order to accommodate the passenger and cargo traffic now passing through the airport.
In 1958 The Canadian Pacific Airlines Britannia Hanger opens up, becoming Canada’s very first jet-era aircraft hanger.
A new 2.5 kilometer runway is constructed and existing runways are lengthened.
In 1962 The Department of Transport purchases Vancouver International Airport from the city for $2.5 million.
In 1968 the airport expands its site to over 4000 acres of land.
A new $32 million airport terminal is opened to accommodate @ 2million people.
In 1968 the new terminal is upgraded in order to accommodate jumbo jets.
CP air constructs a $25 million jet aircraft hanger and executive headquarters building.
In 1971 the first 747 aircraft flies into the airport from Toronto
Transport Canada completes the construction of a new Air Traffic Control Center.
Air Canada officially opens up its Air Cargo Terminal.
In 1973 the airports 747 hanger and maintenance facilities are built.
The RCMP begin staffing Canadian airports with special detachments.
In 1976 the Arthur Laing Bridge is built to improve airport access.
A $32 million upgrade and modification to the airport is completed, giving the airport more acreage.
In 1986, the Vancouver International Airport welcomes EXPO 86’.
In 1989 a volunteer organization called the ‘Green Coats’ is started who assist passengers at the airport.
‘YVR’ is officially used as a marketing initiative in 1989.
YVR becomes one of four airports in all of Canada to be run by local, community based, non-profit organizations.
In 1993 the Shell Aerocenter officially opens.
In 1994 one of the older terminals is demolished to make way for a new International Terminal.
In 1996 the new sixteen gate International Terminal officially opens at a cost of $250 million.
The new terminal can handle over 8million passengers annually and has provided the airport enough capacity to fly almost a half million flights annually.
In 1999 the Fairmont Hotel Vancouver opens, as well as Heli-Jet.
The south terminal is given a $3.5 million make-over to better handle passengers.
The new east terminal opens, costing $114 million, giving an additional seven gates to YVR.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) names YVR the best airport in North America and the fourth best in the world.
In 2001, the first phase of the Domestic Terminal Building upgrade is completed at a cost of $53 million.
The new Airport Connector Project greatly increases the access to YVR from highway 99 ($40 million).
In 2003, YVR is ranked the number one airport in North America, and is the only Canadian airport to make the top ten list of the IATA.