Rick Hansen Foundation awards Vancouver certification for accessibility

Posted: 7 December 2018 | | No comments yet

Vancouver International has received the gold rating from the RHFAC programme and is the first airport to receive the rating.


Vancouver International Airport (YVR) has received the ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) programme. YVR is the first airport to receive the rating and is the highest rated building in the programme.

“This year, YVR will welcome a record 25 million passengers and for us it’s very important that every one of these passengers has a seamless and comfortable airport experience,” said Craig Richmond, President & CEO, Vancouver Airport Authority. “Accessibility is one of our top priorities and is a key part of our success as a world-class hub. Gold Certification from the Rick Hansen Foundation is a testament to our ongoing efforts to better serve our passengers, partners and communities—and is a milestone we are very proud of.” 

Rick Hansen, Founder and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation said: “I’m proud to congratulate YVR on being the first airport to achieve ‘Accessibility Certified Gold’ rating under the Rick Hansen Foundation Accessibility Certification™ (RHFAC) programme. I’ve watched YVR systematically make progress on accessibility over many decades. People with visible and invisible disabilities experience accessibility challenges every day and with record numbers of passengers travelling through Canada’s airports, it’s critical that these spaces meet everyone’s needs. I hope YVR and Craig’s leadership inspires other transport hubs around the world to take steps in becoming more accessible and inclusive for travellers of all ages and abilities.”

The RHFAC is the first programme to measure the level of meaningful access beyond building code, and is based upon the holistic user experience of people with varying disabilities affecting their mobility, vision and hearing. To date, over 1,100 buildings across BC are registered to be rated.

In achieving this certification rating, YVR has removed barriers and improved accessibility for employees, passengers and partners—achieving the highest score of any rated building to-date with 93 out of 100 points. YVR has a broad range of accessibility features that led to this score including:

  •  Universal food and service counters for people using wheeled mobility devices
  • Low-resistance carpeting for easier movement and greater stability
  • Textured terminal flooring to assist with wayfinding
  • Curbside ramps and assistance
  • Accessible parking in all lots with accessible bus service to long-term parking
  • Universal seating throughout the terminal
  • Universally accessible washrooms
  • Pet relief areas for individuals travelling with assistance animals
  • Adaptive speakers throughout the terminal building
  • Clearly marked signage and wayfinding
  • Customer care staff trained in accessibility. 
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