YVR forecasts no increase in $15 airport fee despite big capital plans

With its last five-year, $1.4 billion capital plan completed in time for the Olympics, YVR is at work planning another round of capital spending, airport CEO Larry Berg told council yesterday, to include upgrades to runways, sewers and dykes.

Despite these plans, the $15 airport improvement fee imbedded in the price of each ticket is not scheduled to rise, he said.

Instead YVR is striving to maximize the benefit of “approved destination status” from China, which opens the door at last to large-scale tourism from that country. Also in the works: pleas to Ottawa to allow direct flights to Taiwan and more connections to Chinese cargo airlines.

The main visual change will undoubtedly be planned commercial development on Russ Baker Way, south of the airport, around the lonely Seas Island and Templeton Canada Line stations to the east of YVR, and even on the lands along the north arm of the Fraser north of the main runways.

Will these plans be aligned with Metro Vancouver’s Regional Growth Strategy? “Metro would be aware of them,” Berg said, choosing his words carefully.

(Vancouver has a seat on the YVR board which is currently held by former mayor Phillip Owen.)