The 12th Annual ACI Europe Best Airport Awards were announced last night during the Gala Dinner of the 26th ACI Europe General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, hosted by Athens International Airport.
This years’ judging panel for the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards was drawn from a well-respected group of independent experts including EUROCONTROL, European Commission, European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), European Travel Commission (ETC), and FlightGlobal. ACI Europe counts over 500 airports in 45 European countries among its membership and this year’s competition saw a high level of entries in the competition in each category.
The awards cover 4 traffic categories of airport and aims to recognise achievement in core activities such as customer service, facilities, retail, security, community relations and environmental awareness and operations. There is a separate award devoted specifically to airports’ environmental efforts.
The awards were presented to the winning airports by Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI Europe, Angela Gittens, Director General ACI World, Salvatore Sciacchitano, Executive Secretary, ECAC, Filip Cornelis, Acting Director, Aviation and International Transport Affairs, European Commission, Philippe Merlo, Director ATM EUROCONTROL and Catherine Mayer, Vice President SITA.
The first award, recognising airports in the ‘under 5 million passenger’ category, went to Keflavik Airport. The judges valued Keflavik Airport’s investments in most of the areas to improve its operations and enhance the passenger experience, its involvement with the local community and stakeholders as well as its environmental policy.
London City Airport was highly commended in the ‘under 5 million passenger’ category. The airport was recognised for the expansion and improvement of its facilities and for its focus on the passenger.
The winner of the ‘5-10 million passenger’ category was Glasgow Airport. The airport won praise from the judges for its strong focus on performance, its facilities upgrade and greatly improved passenger experience through, for instance, the introduction of a real-time feedback model and the sharing of customer feedback on a weekly basis.
The highly commended airport in the ‘5-10 million passenger’ category was Naples Airport. The judges noted positively its increased connectivity and its active strategy to promote Naples as a tourist destination.
This year’s award in the ‘10-25 million passenger’ category went to Brussels Airport on the basis of its key investment in the Connector including the world’s first remote screening of cabin baggage on a large scale, which has improved the passenger experience (e.g. reduced walking distances, more clarity on the way to take, reduced waiting times).
The airport was also praised for its successful network developments and its improvements in public transport and parking facilities.
The highly commended airport in the ’10-25 million passenger’ category was Edinburgh Airport for its impressive growth and economic benefits for the municipality and the whole Scotland.
In the category for airports with ‘over 25 million passengers’, this year’s ACI Europe Best Airport Award went to London Heathrow Airport. The judges cited London Heathrow Airport’s effective operations enhancements, its partnership with ATC and airlines and its engagement with the community, environment and charitable causes.
The highly commended airport in the ‘over 25 million passenger’ category was Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport for its A-CDM implementation and network strategy in particular.
This year’s Eco-Innovation Award, which is awarded by the independent Advisory Board of the carbon management programme, Airport Carbon Accreditation, went to Avinor’s Oslo Airport. The judges were particularly impressed by the pioneering and innovative Oslo Airport’s project of setting up a regular supply of bio jetfuel to all the customer airlines, since January 2016, making it the first airport in the world to offer this service through the normal supply mechanism. The judges noted how this project, based on a close collaboration between the airport, airlines and other partners, should be an example to be followed in other projects aiming at reducing the environmental footprint at airports overall. It should also be added that through its project, Oslo and its partners contribute to the overall sustainability industry goals as defined by the Air Transport Action Group (ATAG), in particular carbon neutral growth as of 2020 and reducing CO2 emissions by 50% by 2050. Oslo Airport was also selected for its exemplary overall environmental performance, which is reflected on its certification at Level 3+ Neutrality of Airport Carbon Accreditation – the highest level of the programme.
To mark the 10th anniversary of the adoption of Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 concerning the rights of disabled persons and persons with reduced mobility when travelling by air, ACI Europe partnered with the European Disability Forum (EDF) to present a new Airport Award: the Accessible Airport Award. The Accessible Airport Award aims to honour the best airport in Europe in terms of its level of accessibility as well as the range and the quality of the assistance services that it offers. It also intends to encourage other airports to continue their work on removing the barriers that people with disabilities and PRM still face when travelling by air. The judging panel for the Accessible Airport Award was constituted of the European Disability Forum’s Executive Committee members as well as Fotis Karamitsos, Acting Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport; Coordination of Directorates C and D, European Commission.
The Accessible Airport Award, presented by Yannis Yallouros, Member of the EDF’s Executive Committee, went to Dublin Airport. The judges considered that the airport excels in accessibility features and facilities, including adult changing places, two separate relief areas for guide dogs, fully accessible retail and catering areas alongside with service level agreements for assistance that exceed the standards of ECAC Doc 30. The judges also cited Dublin Airport’s website accessibility, which is according to the AA standard of WCAG 2.0 (currently, the recommended level to ensure accessibility for persons with disabilities).
The highly commended airport for the Accessible Airport Award was Larnaca Airport for the positive travelling experience it gives to people with disabilities as well as for its great efforts to comply with accessibility standards.
This year’s WBP Recognition Award went to Johan Schölvinck, Vice-President Commercial InterVISTAS, Consultant for NACO and Vice-Chair of the ACI Europe Commercial Forum, in recognition of his outstanding airport industry expertise and strong commitment to the ACI EUROPE Commercial Forum’s Business Transformation Task Force. The judges also underlined Johan’s interpersonal skills and his ability to lead and inspire members of the ACI Europe Commercial Forum to explore new areas of interest, to bring added value to the commercial topics and to ensure all work initiatives are successfully completed.
Finally, ACI Europe created a special Leader of the Year Award category this year. The recipient of the award was Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company, for his extraordinary leadership and courage together with his remarkable decisiveness and wisdom in managing the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport on 22 March. This Award was presented by Augustin de Romanet, President of ACI Europe and President & CEO Aéroports S.A.- Groupe ADP.