Metro Vancouver travellers should check the status of their flight before heading to the airport this weekend.
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, calling for 15 cm to 20 cm of snow to fall across the Metro Vancouver region on Saturday (Feb. 25).
In advance of the winter storm, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) says it is monitoring the forecast closely and working with airlines and its partners to ensure operations run as smoothly as possible.
"Our equipment and crews are ready. Our de-icing facility is fully operational. Airlines have been asked to ensure full towing capacity during the snow event so that empty aircraft are not stuck at gates preventing other planes from being able to de-plane passengers," states a news release.
The airport's models expect "heavy wet snow" to begin Saturday afternoon and continue through the night followed by rain on Sunday.
YVR will work closely with individual airlines as they adjust their schedules due to the inclement weather. It will also have the ability to modify how it gates planes to "optimize operations if necessary and keep passengers moving."
Tips for travellers heading on flights during the inclement Vancouver weather
Air passengers can do several things in advance of travel to save time at the airport.
- Travellers are encouraged to check flight details with YVR online or with their airline before arriving. By checking in before you arrive, you can avoid lining up to get your boarding pass and it will appear on your smart device. You may also print off a copy.
- Travellers to the United States can also "skip the line" by reserving a time slot via the new YVR Express program. You may reserve a spot up to 72 hours in advance.
- YVR advises travellers to arrive at least two hours before domestic flights and three hours before U.S. and international ones. However, you should give yourself more time — and more time on your commute to the airport — during inclement weather.
- If you are driving, be sure to pre-book your parking. To avoid the roads, consider taking the convenient Canada Line, which will take you directly to the airport from downtown Vancouver in 30 minutes.
- ArriveCAN is now an optional tool for travellers who want to save time at the airport by providing their customs and immigration declaration in advance to the CBSA (up to 72 hours before they arrive in the country).
The airport will also post regular updates on its Twitter account.