It was 50 years ago this October that the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) took flight with its original international terminal.
On Oct. 25, 1968 the then-ultra-modern facility opened, featuring an eye-catching orange, avocado and brown colour scheme.
It’s hard for passengers in a post-9/11 world to imagine, but back then there was virtually no security. Passengers and well-wishers could walk right up to the gates unmolested.
But the new terminal was also a big change for 1968 passengers.
There was no more walking to planes on the tarmac, for one. Instead, international passengers arrived through sealed tunnels, designed to keep foreign arrivals sterile and separate.
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Today, instead of a dull passageway, international arrivals are greeted with gurgling waterfalls, glass, and proud displays for First Nations art.
Another sign of the times? You could smoke in the YVR international terminal — as well as on aircraft. The ashtrays in the building were even proudly ‘made in B.C.’
Parking was once allowed right in front of the terminal, as well as in an underground parkade. The price might also shock modern-day drivers: a daily maximum of $3. Drivers today can expect to shell out $43 dollars to park at YVR — for just four hours.
The venerable structure is now YVR’s domestic terminal, and is barely recognizable thanks to renovations and the addition of new facilities.
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And of course, things are set to change again.
YVR is adding to its new international terminal, with construction underway to expand Pier D — the airport’s largest expansion since 1996.
That $9.1 billion project will add eight new wide-body gates and allow the airport to handle large aircraft like the A380, which has a 260′ wingspan.
That new terminal project will be complete by 2020.