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B.C. Cherries on the Move Infographic showing the dramatic increase in export of cherries from B.C. and the shift in modes of transport.

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While aviation is regulated by the federal government, British Columbia has a direct interest and role to play. Connecting With the World: An Aviation Strategy for British Columbia outlines a vision to grow an aviation sector that is viable and competitive in the global marketplace, enabling passengers and goods to connect with destinations around the world through B.C. airports. This strategy identifies actions that B.C. will pursue to maximize the economic potential of the sector and the economies it supports.

Increasing air passenger and cargo capacity

Vancouver International Airport (YVR) is strategically located on great circle routes at the commercial crossroads of the Asia-Pacific region and North America. Vancouver is an ideal gateway connecting the Asia- Pacific region, North America, Europe and Latin America. YVR is supported by a network of regional airports throughout British Columbia that provide fast and efficient connections for business, international education and tourism.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR)

  • 109 non-stop destinations worldwide.
  • 68 airlines serve YVR.
  • 75 weekly flights to China in 2013.
  • Canada’s second busiest airport handled almost 18 million passengers and over 228,000 tonnes of cargo in 2013.

A $1.9 billion rapid transit line opened in 2009, providing a first class connection from YVR to downtown Vancouver.

As a growing gateway, Vancouver Airport Authority is investing $1.8 billion in improvements designed to decrease connection times, enhance baggage systems and upgrade the terminals and airfield. YVR’s value proposition for both passengers and air cargo is strong:

  • Located within a metropolitan area of 2.5 million people (of whom approximately 37 per cent are of Asian heritage).
  • Facilitates shipping of world renowned seafood and agricultural food products to approximately 135 destinations worldwide.
  • Supports a growing network of universities throughout British Columbia, with an increasing number of opportunities for international students.
  • A rapidly expanding clean technology and creative industries sector.
  • Strong world demand for British Columbia mining, natural gas and forestry resources, whose business activities are facilitated by air connections.

British Columbia’s Regional Airports

  • 38 certified regional airports.
  • $210 million has been invested in the past 10 years.
  • 300+ airports, heliports and water aerodromes in the province.

Competitive Business Environment

A number of initiatives have been taken to make the Pacific Gateway Air Corridor globally competitive:

  • As of April 1, 2012 the British Columbia government has eliminated the Aviation Fuel Tax for international flights, resulting in $12-16 million in collective annual savings for air carriers.
  • YVR and other BC airports offer fee incentives to secure new or expanded air services.
  • Federal government taking steps to liberalize international air services agreements and improve passenger facilitation processes, such as Transit Without Visa Programs.
  • Federal, provincial and airport partners collaborate to fast- track approvals for new air services.

In 2010, China granted Approved Destination Status (ADS) to Canada allowing Canadian tour products to be sold in China. The number of trips to Canada by mainland Chinese travellers increased by more than 24 per cent in 2012.

Source: Statistics Canada Service Bulletin 66-001-P