Opening of $12 million noise facility at YVR a bit premature

Vancouver Airport Authority officially opened its ground run-up enclosure Wednesday. -
Vancouver Airport Authority officially opened its ground run-up enclosure Wednesday.
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If you didn’t notice a marked reduction in noise immediately after the Jan. 11 opening of the Vancouver International Airport’s hi-tech $12 million ground run-up enclosure, you weren’t imagining things.

While the public was told that Jan. 11 was the facility’s “official opening date”—and via a press release YVR stated operators “no longer have to taxi over to the designated run-up area at the far end of the south runway, which will save time, fuel and reduce greenhouse gas emissions”—it turns out the facility wasn’t completely ready to operate after all.

A source told The Richmond Review that a day after the facility’s much-hyped opening, an effort to use the facility to test an aircraft’s engines was declined.

The new facility was billed as the end of the painstaking process of calling airport operations for approval to take the long taxi run to the most westerly point of the airport for engine run-ups, with several calls to the tower during the back and forth.

As it turns out, there was a simple explanation, according to Vancouver International Airport Authority spokesperson Alana Lawrence.

“The ground run-up enclosure opened last week but the verification testing (which is subject to weather) wasn’t able to be completed until early this week,” Lawrence wrote in an e-mail on Jan. 19. “All aircraft requesting run-ups would have been directed to the run-up area at the west end of the island.”

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