ANA achieves ASQ Assured Certification

Posted: 15 October 2010 | Airports Council International | No comments yet

Director General of ACI World, Angela Gittens, presented the Airport Service Quality Assured Certification awards to four of the airports managed by ANA Aeroportos de Portugal…

Director General of ACI World, Angela Gittens, presented the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Assured Certification awards to four of the airports managed by ANA Aeroportos de Portugal – Faro, Lisbon, Ponta Delgada and Porto. This is the first European airport authority to successfully pass the ASQ certification audit and management review.

Gittens saluted ANA for its professionalism, “This level of achievement is a manifestation of full management commitment to customer service excellence. The certification recognizes the airport’s sustained efforts to analyze and enhance service performance, ensuring that any gaps in service quality are being addressed.

“This level of continuous improvement means that the ANA airports are both listening to their customers and also regularly benchmarking their success in reaching new satisfaction levels, involving not only executive decision makers but airport staff and partners working on the airport platform.”

The point of departure to achieve certification is the ASQ Service Quality Survey programme, based on annual participation in a regular passenger surveying process throughout the year. Thirty-four service parameters covered by the questionnaire enable passengers to say what elements are most important to them and to rate their satisfaction with each. ANA airports have been top performers in the ASQ Survey, with both Porto (3rd in “Best Airport by Region – Europe” category) and Ponta Delgada (Best ASQ Improvement in Europe) being recognized this year at the ASQ awards ceremony.

The overall programme has a second component called ASQ Performance, where current performance times are systematically measured by the airport to check service delivery levels. The third component is the ASQ Assured Certification programme, which measures management commitment and performance enhancement strategies via a robust review and audit process.

The certification process requires commitment by senior management to a well-defined strategy, to operational improvements and to developing staff motivation aligned with management strategy. Six criteria form a strong basis for success: leadership, customer focus, people management skills, a systems and process approach to service delivery, business partner involvement and of course the ability to measure, analyze, benchmark, and carry out continued improvements.

Gittens congratulated ANA for its progressive customer service management programme. She noted, “They have put in place a business intelligence system that has been implemented across all ANA airports, and through which all Service Quality measurements and data are processed and shared among all ANA departments and airports. This is an invaluable tool for internal information sharing.

“Equally important, is the fact that external communication of ASQ results are displayed in their website, demonstrating a special commitment to improved service quality in a transparent environment. Collaborative projects have been designed to improve the customer service culture across the whole organization, focusing on passenger experience analysis as the main source to define ANA’s services strategy. ‘Additional projects are in place to improve services for specific segments of passengers, such as disabled passengers, families, business travelers and passengers with special needs. And the ANA I.T. department has contributed by closely following all recent technological innovations and partnering with airlines and other stakeholders to increase self service options.”

For each of the airports, Gittens flags examples of commitment to service excellence and innovative ideas in customer service enhancement: “Porto has consistently scored among the ASQ top 3 airports in Europe over the last 3 years. Lisbon has adopted state of the art RFID tagging technology to eliminate mishandled bags. A popular tourism destination, Faro has adopted a baggage conveyor system that can handle golf bags as conventional baggage – not special baggage – a great time saver for customers. And Ponta Delgada is now remodeling terminal landside and airside to meet and exceed passenger expectations.”

Gittens said, “I extend my congratulations to our ANA hosts today Engº António Guilhermino Rodrigues, Chairman and President of the Board of Directors ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, and Engº Carlos Madeira, Vice-President of the Board of Directors ANA Aeroportos de Portugal, and each of the airport directors present here today. They have translated a general quality service objective into measurable delivery improvements that airport customers value and appreciate. I know we can count on this committed team to continue to pursue performance excellence to the benefit of the consumer and the communities they serve.”

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