Vancouver International Airport creates a ‘digital twin’ of itself with a video game platform

At the height of the pandemic downturn, technical staff at Vancouver International Airport (YVR) launched a project to create a virtual digital twin of their facilities on Sea Island.

This project from YVR’s new Innovation Hub division is now complete, allowing airport officials to better visualize improvements to passenger experience and logistics.

This real-time virtual representation of the airport terminal and airfield features training, optimization, future planning, simulations, testing, and more. It integrates historical and real-time data into the platform and can be presented via 2D or 3D visualization for data-driven decision making and collaboration.

The digital twin could even potentially be used to model aircraft movements and activity on the airfield to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Vancouver International Airport digital twin interface. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

vancouver international airport digital twin yvr geo simcities

Vancouver International Airport digital twin interface. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

vancouver international airport digital twin yvr geo simcities

Vancouver International Airport digital twin interface. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

“At YVR, we want our employees to have the tools they need to succeed in a dynamic environment and digital twin technology solves many airport challenges,” said Lynette DuJohn, Vice President of Innovation and director of information at YVR.

“For example, if there is congestion at any check-in point, an alert is generated which we can click to see live information about what is happening. This empowers our Operations and Safety team to address potential issues with corrective actions, allowing our employees to find efficiencies through technology, creating a better experience for travelers.

The digital twin was created in part with video game engine Unity, Vancouver-based 3D modeling company GeoSim Cities and Vancouver-based digital business transformation company Thynkli.

vancouver international airport digital twin yvr geo simcities

Digital twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

vancouver international airport digital twin yvr geo simcities

Digital twin of Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority/GeoSim Cities)

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