Vancouver Airport Authority recognized as leader in Canadian innovation

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Vancouver Airport Authority was among the winners of the 2019 Vision to Reality Awards, for its development of the world’s first automated border clearance kiosk.

Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) has been recognized as a winner in the Builder category of PwC Canada’s 2019 Vision to Reality (V2R) awards for its self-service border control solution, BorderXpress. The technology was developed by Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS), an independent business unit within Vancouver International Airport.

“We are honored to be considered a leader in innovation for our BorderXpress solution. YVR has gone from identifying a universal problem at our own airport with border processing to building a locally based product that it is now the global market leader,” said Craig Richmond, president and CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority.

“With increased demand for air travel and changing border regulations, the industry must embrace innovation to increase efficiencies and improve passenger satisfaction, while maintaining the highest security standards.”

V2R is PwC Canada’s annual program aimed at recognizing and celebrating the country’s most forward-thinking organizations. The awards are judged by an independent panel of judges and include four categories: The Visionary, the Builder, the Re-inventor and the Accelerator. Other winners this year included British Columbia’s Ministry of Health, GHGSat and Sun Life Financial.

As the winner of the Builder category, Vancouver Airport Authority had to meet several requirements, including having revenue between C$51m (US$37m) and C$1bn (US$0.74bn), as well as being Canadian-controlled or headquartered in Canada. The organization also had to demonstrate that it was actively innovating to improve product quality and find service efficiencies to help break through to the next level.

BorderXpress is a self-service border control solution that uses an efficient two-step process to expedite the border clearance process, reducing passenger wait times by more than 60%. This results in cost and space savings, enabling border officers to focus on maintaining the safety of the border. BorderXpress provides better exception handling, is fully accessible to persons with disabilities and can be configured with up to 35 different languages. It can even process families traveling as a group.

“Technology plays a critical role in modernizing border management so that we can meet the needs of tomorrow’s traveler,” said Steve Hankinson, vice president, innovation and planning, Vancouver Airport Authority. “At ITS, we have the experience needed to deliver a solution that is guaranteed to succeed – our technology is built by an airport, for airports.”

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Tara has worked for UKi Media & Events since 2013, initially as a freelancer. She has been a journalist for over a decade and has worked for a range of publications, including Personnel Today, Management Today and The Grocer.

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