YVR Implements Immediate Changes to Improve Service



    RICHMOND, B.C., Dec. 7 /CNW/ - Vancouver Airport Authority has announced
significant changes to passenger and visitor services at Vancouver
International Airport (YVR) as a result of preliminary findings of the Airport
Authority's internal review of circumstances surrounding the death of Robert
Dziekanski at YVR on October 14, 2007.
    The changes have been made in four key areas: Customer Care,
Communication, Safety and Security, and Medical Response. Some of the changes
will be applied immediately, while others are planned for future
implementation.

    
    Among the key changes:

     -  24-hour Customer Care in the International Arrivals area and
        inside the Customs Hall
     -  Additional Customer Care training and tools
     -  Easily identifiable, terminal-wide access to translation services
     -  24-hour in-terminal medical response
     -  Messaging service from the Customs Hall to the public greeting area
     -  Larger, brighter signs with pictograms and multiple languages
     -  Hourly walk-throughs of the Customs Hall and 24-hour public safety
        patrols
    

    "Over the past seven weeks, our team has reviewed every aspect of our
operations, from customer care to communication, safety and security, and even
building design," said Larry Berg, President and CEO, Vancouver Airport
Authority. "We have an obligation to care for each and every customer who
comes through the airport, and the purpose of our internal review is to ensure
that we do just that.
    "The changes we're announcing today reflect a number of significant
improvements to customer service and safety that have already been identified
and can be implemented now or in the very near future," Berg added. "As we
continue with our review, we expect to identify further improvements that will
be included in our near- and long-term plans for YVR."

    
    -   Detailed CHANGES AT YVR fact sheet attached
    -   PRELIMINARY REPORT ON THE CIRCUMSTANCES OF THE DEATH OF ROBERT
        DZIEKANSKI available under "Latest Information" on www.yvr.ca



                               CHANGES AT YVR
    

    Vancouver Airport Authority has made immediate changes in four key areas
- Customer Care, Communication, Safety and Security, and Medical Response - to
improve service for passengers and visitors at Vancouver International Airport
(YVR). Additional significant changes are planned in the coming two months and
in the next two years.

    
    A.  CUSTOMER CARE

    24-Hour Customer Information and Personal Assistance

    1.  Prominent new Customer Information Counter centrally located in the
        baggage carousel area of the Customs Hall, staffed any time the
        Customs Hall is open to passengers, providing translation services in
        more than 170 different languages through the Language Line, general
        assistance, and messaging services to the public greeting area.

        -  Previously: No Customer Information Counter in the baggage
           carousel area of the Customs Hall.

    2.  Representative(s) providing customer care at the BC Visitor Centre
        24 hours a day, seven days a week offering translation services in
        more than 170 different languages through the Language Line, with
        direct access from the passenger services area and the International
        Arrivals public greeting area.

        -  Previously: Staffed 8:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. without Language Line
           translation support.

    Future Customer Information and Personal Assistance Initiatives
    (mid-2008)

    3.  Complete redesign of the passenger service/public greeting area to
        provide a unified, full-service international reception lounge with
        onsite international customer care office and 24/7 coordination
        staff.

    Extended Service Hours

    4.  Passengers arriving from international destinations and entering the
        Customs Hall are greeted by a Customer Care Representative who
        provides directions and general assistance, and is trained to
        identify new permanent residents, students and workers, and direct
        them to Immigration (bypassing the main queue for clearing the
        Primary Inspection Line booths). This dedicated representative has
        mobile access to translation services through the Language Line and
        will be stationed at the entrance to the Customs Hall from 8 a.m. to
        8 p.m. when the Immigration bypass doors are open.

        -  Previously: This position was staffed from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
           without Language Line support.

    5.  The Customer Information Counter near the Immigration area in the
        Customs Hall operates from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., providing Language Line
        support and messaging services to the public greeting area.

        -  Previously: This position was staffed six hours a day without
           Language Line support or messaging services.

    Training and Tools

    6.  All Customer Care staff have a mobile communication device for access
        anywhere in the terminal to Airport Operations, the 24-hour Language
        Line and emergency assistance.

    7.  All Customer Care Representatives and Green Coat volunteers have
        received refresher instruction in how to assist customers in
        accessing translation services through the Language Line.

    8.  Airport Authority employees have received instructions for helping
        customers to access the Language Line.

    Future Training and Tools

    9.  Enhanced tear-off maps illustrated with pictograms available
        throughout airport (February 2008).

    10. Multi-language help brochures at all customer care points (mid-2008).

    11. New aircraft arrivals video with multi-language airport tour and
        customer care and process information for passengers before they land
        at YVR (mid-2008).

    12. Expanded comprehensive customer care training for all frontline staff
        (year-end 2008).

    13. Every holder of a Restricted Area Identification Card (approximately
        70% of employees working at YVR) to receive a "Customer Care at YVR"
        card with instructions for directing YVR passengers and visitors to
        key services, including the Language Line (year-end 2008).

    14. Online training for all airport employees for responding to typical
        and unusual customer care situations (2009).

    B.  COMMUNICATION

    Communication Between the Border and the Public Area

    15. New Greeter Information Board allows passengers in the Customs Hall
        to have their name displayed on a large screen in the public greeting
        area to let their party know they have arrived. This service is
        provided through the Information Counters in the Customs Hall.

        -  Previously: No such service.

    16. Customer Care Representatives in the Customs Hall have mobile
        communications devices which, in addition to providing access to the
        Language Line, may be used to phone a passenger's party in the public
        greeting area to let them know the passenger has arrived.

        -  Previously: No such service.

    Future Communication Initiatives

    17. Joint Canada Border Services Agency-Vancouver Airport Authority
        committee to examine communication issues and develop solutions for
        information sharing between passengers, visitors and agencies at YVR
        (committee in place).

    18. Immigration Canada information counter relocation to International
        Arrivals public greeting area - operational January 2008.

    Translation Services

    19. All Customer Information Counters feature new language identification
        cards that tell passengers in the 20 most requested languages that
        free interpretation services are available by pointing to the
        language of their choice.

    20. All Customer Information Counters feature new double-handset
        telephones for using the 24-hour Language Line with a Customer Care
        Representative.

    21. All Customer Care staff are equipped with a brochure version of the
        language identification card and mobile access to the Language Line
        for translation services anywhere in the terminal.

    Signs

    22. Larger, brighter signs with pictograms above help phones.

    23. Directions to the public meeting area, with pictograms, added to exit
        signs in the Customs Hall and passenger service area.

    Future Signs Initiatives

    24. Increased use of pictograms and better, more intuitive, multi-
        language signs in the Customs Hall (January 2008).

    C.  SAFETY AND SECURITY

    Hourly Walk-Throughs

    25. Hourly walk-throughs of the baggage carousel area and washrooms in
        the Customs Hall, and the passenger service area.

        -  Previously: Occasional walk-throughs by Airport Authority staff

    Public Safety Officer

    26. New Public Safety Officer role dedicated solely to surveying the
        airport 24 hours a day, seven days a week for public safety concerns.
        Skilled in negotiation and will take an active role in de-escalation
        procedures through non-physical intervention.

    Mobile Access to Emergency Services

    27. All Customer Care staff have a mobile communication device pre-
        programmed to connect with Airport Operations, 9-1-1 Emergency
        Services and the 24-hour Language Line for access to services
        anywhere in the terminal.

        -  Previously: Customer Care staff not equipped with mobile devices.

    Security Cameras

    28. Two additional monitoring cameras in the passenger service area.

    Future Safety and Security Initiatives

    29. De-escalation training for frontline operations staff to provide 24/7
        de-escalation skills coverage (February 2008).

    30. Additional help phones with access to emergency assistance, customer
        care and the 24-hour Language Line (mid-2008).

    31. New security monitoring system with additional cameras and increased
        recording capabilities as part of redesign of the passenger
        service/public greeting area (summer 2008).

    D.  MEDICAL RESPONSE

    32. Onsite in-terminal medical first responder coverage 24 hours a day,
        seven days a week: BC Ambulance Service from 6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
        and Airport Authority emergency medical responders from 5:30 p.m. to
        6:30 a.m. - respond to all medical calls and proactively survey for
        public health issues or passengers in medical distress.

        -  Previously: Onsite in-terminal BC Ambulance Service staff from
           6:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Airport Authority Emergency Response
           Specialists (not always in terminal) respond to Code 3 medical
           calls.

    Future Safety and Security Initiatives

    33. Emergency Medical Responder (EMR) level training for Airport
        Authority Emergency Response Specialists (currently certified as
        First Responders, Level 3) (year-end 2008).

    





For further information:

For further information: YVR Media Relations, (604) 880-9815,
media_relations@yvr.ca


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