Atlanta tops global efficiency ranking

Posted: 4 September 2014 | The Air Transport Research Society | No comments yet

The Air Transport Research Society released the results of its annual benchmarking study of commercial airports in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and North America…

Plane taking off at Philadelphia Airport

The Air Transport Research Society released the results of its annual benchmarking study of commercial airports in Europe, Asia and the Pacific, and North America. Based on a rigorous analysis of airport cost and revenue data, the ATRS benchmarking study assessed the productivity and efficiency of nearly 200 airports and selected the most efficient airports in each of the regions, as well as the most efficient airport, overall.

Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport in Atlanta, GA, has won their 11th top efficiency excellence award this year during the 12 year history of ATRS airport efficiency awards which began in 2003. So, Atlanta is clearly a role model of serving air travellers, airlines and their regional community most efficiently. Other top performers in North America include Charlotte and Oklahoma City airports. In Canada, Vancouver and Calgary International Airports are in the top of the list of Canadian airports.

Accepting the award the Assistant General Manager Balram Bheodari, Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta Airport said: “ On behalf of Mayor Kasim Reed, Aviation General Manager Miguel Southwell and the thousands of employees at Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport, it is with great pride that our airport has once again been designated as the most efficient airport in the world. This award stands as a testament to our unwavering dedication to operational and managerial efficiency, and cost competitiveness. I am grateful to ATRS for recognizing our continued efforts for the 11 th year in a row. ”

This year, Copenhagen Airport won the top productivity and highly efficient airport in Europe “Although this is the ninth time in eleven years that Copenhagen Airport have won the award for being Europe’s most efficient airport, I guarantee You that we do not take the award for granted or expect to win it each year. In the last decade, competition among the major airports for routes, growth and jobs has intensified significantly, so we are very proud indeed to receive the award,” said Copenhagen Airports ’ COO, Kristian Durhuus.

Among the small/med – size airport category, Athens International Airport take this year’s ATRS Top Efficiency Excellence Award

On the occasion of Athens International Airport’s award, Athens International Airport CEO, Dr. Yiannis Paraschis, said: “We are very pleased and indeed honored that Athens International Airport has been distinguished by the esteemed Air Transport Research Society as the most efficient airport in its category in the performance benchmarking for 2012. The specific year, marked by slow worldwide growth and a very critical economic and political situation in Greece, has indeed been extremely challenging.

Thanks to its solid basis, AIA has managed, despite adversities, to address significant market challenges, protect its business model and continue to deliver substantial value to all stakeholders and the Greek economy. Targeted efforts towards minimizing traffic losses and revenue streams, in combination with operating cost optimization, have been key to that end and allowed AIA to post healthy results, without compromising its value – for – money services. We thank you very much for this acknowledgement, which attests Athens International Airport’s potential for further upside development. At a turning point of strong recovery at present, we believe that what makes an organisation capable of weathering a storm and come out even more efficient and effective, is clearly its ability to continuously change and adapt.”

After being on rotation for a decade on the top spot, Asia’s prominent major airports like Singapore’s Changi, Seoul – Incheon, Hong Kong International airports have been trumped by the three smaller Airports managed Korea Airports Corporation (KAC) since year 2012. KAC’s Gimhae International Airport in City of Busan, the largest city in southern part of South Kor ea, has won the 2014 ATRS Top Asian Airport Efficiency Excellence Award, and furthermore, KAC’s Jeju International Airport became the second most efficient airport in Asia. Seoul – Gimpo airport also managed by KAC was the top efficient airport in Asia consecutively in 2012 and 2013 although it fell to 5th spot in Asia behind Gimhae, Jeju, Hong Kong and Haikou (southern China).

“I am very happy that all three airports (Busan – Gimhae, Jeju, and Seoul – Gimpo airports) that we, Korea Airports Corporation, operate are ranked top fifth in efficiency among Asian airports. We will spare no efforts to make our airports more efficient, more commercially – diversified and, last but the least, more passenger – friendly.” Seokki – Kim, CEO & President Korea Airports Corporation

Sydney Airport successfully defended the top productivity and efficiency performance title in Oceania; this makes Sydney’s fourth win in a row.

In addition, the ATRS Airport Task Force has decided to award the following additional Excellence Awards bas ed on specific aspects of each airport ’ excellence achievement:

  • A Cost Competitiveness Excellence Award is being presented to Riga International Airport, Latvia; 
  • Revenue Source Diversification Excellence Awards are being presented to Keflavic International Airport, Iceland;

The Managing Director of Isavia is Björn Óli Hauksson accepting the award said: “Our mantra is to serve the passenger in the best way possible and focus on providing a comfortable time in the terminal as well as good offers in our retail sector. According to recent passenger surveys we have succeeded and are among the best. We strive to keep that position as we know a satisfied passenger will always result in strong non – aeronautical commercial revenues. ”

  • Top Asian Airport Revenue Diversification Excellence Award : Seoul – Gimpo Airport of Korea Airport Corporation;
  • Top Oceanian Airport Revenue Diversification Excellence Award: Gold Coast International Airport of Queensland Airport Ltd, Australia
  • Airport User Charge Excellence Award is being presented to: Luxembourg International Airport , Europe

Accepting the award Johan Vanneste, CEO of Lux Airport: “I am pleased to receive this award for the airport with the lowest Airport Charges in Europe. Although it is not our mission to offer the lowest charges, certainly not in view of our new Terminal and underground parking garage for 4000+ cars, I’m sure these low charges have helped LUX – Airport to attract new airlines in 2012 and 2013.”

Other rising star in Asia in terms of efficient operation and management of airport is Haikou International Airport which is located on China’s southern island province for which the Chinese Government designated it sometime ago as the “ Open Skies” province, which frees foreign airlines’ access to that airport.

Per passenger basis, London’s Heathrow and Gatwick (peak period) landing fees are highest, and Tokyo Haneda and Sydney airports also charge highest landing fees in Asia and Oceania, respectively. The landing fees per passenger at Toronto Pearson International airport came down very significantly in the past few years, and thus, in this year New York’s LaGuardia airport became the most expensive airport to land an aircraft in North America per passenger basis. Among European airports, Luxembourg and Riga charge the lowest average charges for the combined landings and passenger services per passenger while London Heathrow and Gatwick charge the highest.

Among Asian airports, Taipei – Taoyuan airport charges the lowest combined landing and passenger fees per passenger while Osaka – Kansai charges the highest. In United States, Charlotte (NC) has the lowest Cost per Enplaned Passenger (CPE) while New York – JFK charges the highest CPE. In Canada, Victoria (BC) charges the low est CPE while Toronto Pearson airport charges the highest.

ATRS (Air Transport Research Society), the world ’ s leading academic society in the air transportation field, measures and compares the operating/managerial efficiency, cost competitiveness, financial performance and airport user charges for 200 airports and 26 airport groups in Canada, USA, Europe, Asia and Oceania. The ATRS Global Airport Benchmarking Task Force includes 15 leading professors/researchers (list available at ) from Asia, Europe, North America, Middle East and Australia. The ATRS Global Airport Performance Benchmarking Project has been formed and led by Professor Tae Hoon Oum of the Sauder School of Business, University of British Columbia, and Chairman of ATRS.

“This airport benchmarking report provides a comprehensive and unbiased evaluation of airport performance around the world, ” says Oum. “ With increasing competition in airport transport markets worldwide, these rankings are helpful not only to the airport and airlines, but also to governments, consultants, regulatory commissions, institutional investors, researchers and graduate students.”

The ATRS, now in its 18th year, was established to enhance research capability for multi-national and multi disciplinary issues on air transportation, and to foster interaction with international and national institutions, which deal with policy, management strategy, and/or infrastructure issues concerning global aviation. For more information, visit .

The 2014 winners

Efficiency Excellence Awards:

  • Top European Efficiency Excellence Award: Copenhagen Airport
  • Top European Small – Medium Size Airport Efficiency Excellence Award: Athens International Airport
  • Top North American Efficiency Excellence Award: Hartsfield – Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Top Asian Airport Efficiency Excellence Award: Busan – Gimhae International Airport, Korea Airport Corp
  • Top Oceanian Airport Efficiency Excellence Award: Sydney Airport

Revenue Diversification Excellence Awards:

  • Top European Airport Revenue Diversification Excellence Award: Keflavik International Airport, Isavi a Limited
  • Top Asian Airport Revenue Diversification Excellence Award: Seoul – Gimpo International Airport, Korea Airport Corp. 
  • Top Oceanian Airport Revenue Diversification Excellence Award: Gold Coast Airport, Queensland Airports Limited

Cost Competitiveness Excellence Awards: 

  • Top European Airport Cost Competitiveness Excellence Awards: Riga International Airport User Charge Excellence Awards:
  • Top European Airport User Charge Excellence Award: Luxembourg International Airpo
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