AIF Fee increased at YVR to meet future growth

Last month, in an address to the Greater Vancouver Board of Trade, Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority, announced that Vancouver International Airport (YVR) will be increasing its Airport Improvement Fee (AIF) to meet forecasted growth and ensure the airport’s long-term financial health.

 The AIF will increase from $20 to $25 effective January 1, 2020 for passengers travelling to destinations outside of B.C.

Following the increase, YVR’s AIF will continue to be one of the lowest among the eight major Canadian airports, with only Ottawa International Airport collecting a lower fee of $23.

Additionally, YVR is the only major airport to offer a heavily discounted rate for regional travel at $5 for flights within B.C. and to the Yukon.

In his address, Richmond also shared early results from YVR’s latest economic impact study, showcasing the airport’s role in driving economic benefits for the region.

Through its operations, tourism and cargo, YVR helps facilitate $20.2 billion in total economic output, $10.4 billion in total Gross Domestic Product and $1.4 billion in total government revenue in B.C.

In addition, YVR supports more than 26,500 jobs on Sea Island and more than 126,000 jobs across the province.

These numbers are up significantly from YVR’s previous economic impact study in 2015.

YVR earns revenue from three main sources: aeronautical revenue (25 per cent), non-aeronautical revenue (44 per cent) and the AIF (31 per cent), as of 2018.

First introduced in 1993, the AIF can only be used to pay for capital infrastructure projects such as terminals and runways. It is an essential revenue stream as the Canadian government does not provide funding to operate YVR.

Revenue generated from aeronautical and non-aeronautical sources is not enough to cover both the costs of operating the airport and the major capital projects needed to enhance and maintain it.

YVR has collected $2.2 billion from the AIF since its inception in 1993 and has spent $3.7 billion on capital projects during that same timeframe. 

YVR just completed 74 months of consecutive, year-over-year growth, which enables the airport to deliver on its public mandate—to provide economic and social benefits to its communities.

Given this growth, YVR is currently underway with a multi-billion-dollar capital expansion program that will see up to 75 major projects completed over the next 20 years.