Vancouver Airport Authority wins innovation award for biometrics
15 May 2019 16:45 GMT

Vancouver Airport Authority (YVR) has been recognized as a winner of PwC Canada’s 2019 Vision to Reality (V2R) awards for its self-service border control solution, BorderXpress, in the Builder category. BorderXpress technology was developed by Innovative Travel Solutions (ITS), an independent business unit within Vancouver International Airport. The award ceremony took place in Toronto on May 9, 2019.

“We are honoured 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,” says 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 most forward-thinking organizations in Canada. The awards are judged by an independent panel of judges and include four categories: The Visionary, the Builder, the Reinventor and the Accelerator. In addition to Vancouver Airport Authority, British Columbia’s Ministry of Health, GHGSat Inc. and Sun Life Financial were also named winners in the other respective categories.   

As the winner of the Builder category, Vancouver Airport Authority had to meet several requirements, including having revenue between CA$51 million and $CA1 billion, 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.

“Congratulations to Vancouver Airport Authority for winning the Builder Award at the 2019 PwC Vision to Reality (V2R) Awards,” says Chris Dulny, Chief Innovation Officer, PwC Canada. "Never has there been a more important time to bring together a community of innovators to encourage, support and value Canada's most forward-thinking organizations.”

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 per cent. This results in cost and space savings and allows 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 process any passenger, including families travelling as a group.

“Technology plays a critical role in modernizing border management so that we can meet the needs of tomorrow’s traveller,” says 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. The recognition in receiving the Vision to Reality award further drives this home.”