ACI EUROPE announces best airport winners 2018

The awards cover four 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.

TRIUMPHANT: The winners and prize givers in Brussels

ACI EUROPE has announced the latest raft of winners in its Best Airport Awards. The triumphant airports were honoured last night (June 19) at a gala dinner during the joint ACI World-ACI EUROPE Joint General Assembly at Brussels Airport.

This years’ judging panel for the awards included experts from the European Commission, EUROCONTROL, European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and European Travel Commission.

Under five million passengers

The first award, recognising airports in the ‘under 5 million passenger’ category, went to Tallinn Airport in Estonia for its ambitious large-scale expansion and reconstruction of the airside area with no major operational disruption.

Piret Murk Dubout, CEO of Tallinn Airport, and Henrik Hololei, Director General of DG Mobility Transport with the European Commission

The judges were highly impressed by the airport’s new state-of-the-art pre-flight security screening checkpoint allowing to double capacity at peak times.

They noted the improved airport access with the construction of a direct tram line from the city centre. The judges also valued the airport’s close cooperation with the airlines and other stakeholders, such as the Estonian Tourism Board, to promote Estonia as a tourist destination.

Torino Airport was highly commended in this category.

Submissions are now open in International Airport Review’s 2018 Awards

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Click here to find out more and enter.

Five to 10 million passengers

The joint winners of the five to 10 million passenger’ category were Bristol Airport and Seville Airport.

Bristol Airport was selected for its continued investments in infrastructure, staff training and increased public transport links. The airport was also selected for its new security search facility that has improved the passenger experience at the security control, allowing Bristol to achieve its highest ASQ score for all security indicators. The judges appreciated the airport’s commitment to facilitating the needs of PRM passengers and its environmental strategy towards carbon neutrality.

Javier Marin, Director-General of Regulated Business; Jesús Caballero, Director Seville Airport; Iulia Nicolina, European Travel Commission; Nigel Scott, Business Development Director Bristol Airport

Seville Airport distinguished itself with its active policy to promote its connectivity and for its “Connecting Seville to the World” project where all the agents involved cooperate to develop the airport traffic. The airport was also chosen by the judges for its improvements in security in particular, with increased skilled security staff and passenger assistance. The judges underlined the airport’s communication strategy at a local, national and international level, which has effectively enhanced and developed very positive synergies with its community.

10 to 25 million passengers

This year’s award went to Hamburg Airport for its innovative additional services to increase the passenger experience and its commitment to environment (e.g. charging stations for electric cars and wild bees protection). The judges considered how the airport excels in its community relations, by providing strong support to local NGOs and getting involved with local residents very often. The airport’s significant investment in renewing its ground handling facilities was also positively noted.

Michael Eggenschwiler, CEO of Hamburg Airport, and Salvatore Sciacchitano, Executive Secretary of ECAC

The highly commended airport in this category was Prague Airport.

Over 25 million passengers

In the category for airports with ‘over 25 million passengers’, this year’s ACI EUROPE Best Airport Award went to Rome Fiumicino Airport. The airport won praise from the judges for its smart terminal re-design and its strong focus on the development of new markets and new routes. This has contributed to strengthening the competitiveness of Rome as a tourist destination. The continued investments in infrastructure were another reason for recognition. The promotion of the local culture and the use of technology to improve the passenger experience also impressed the judges.

Fausto Palombelli, Chief Commercial Officer Rome Fiumicino Airport; Ugo De Carolis, CEO of Rome Fiumicino Airport; and Eamonn Brennan, Director General of EUROCONTROL

The highly commended airport in this category was Barcelona-El Prat Airport.

Eco-Innovation Award

The Eco-Innovation Award was adjudicated by the independent advisory board of the global carbon management programme, Airport Carbon Accreditation. This award specifically recognises airports’ outstanding environmental performance, in particular, innovative approaches to environmental management.

Olivier Jankovec, Director General of ACI Europe, and Jos Nijhuis, CEO of Amsterdam Airport Schiphol

This year’s went to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (currently Airport Carbon Accredited at Level 3+ Neutrality, the highest level within the scheme) for the comprehensiveness and systemic nature of its approach to environmental management, both in terms of topics covered (noise, air quality, climate change, waste, etc.) and stakeholders addressed.

The judges noted that, in addition to its already achieved carbon neutral status under Airport Carbon Accreditation, the airport also aims to achieve climate neutrality for aircraft emissions up to 3000 feet. Another reason for recognition was the degree of innovation shown, for instance, through the implementation of circular economy principles and the use of renewable energy.

Accessible airport award

Part of a memorandum of understanding signed by ACI EUROPE and the European Disability Forum (EDF) in 2016, 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 is also intended to encourage other airports to continue their work on removing the barriers that people with disabilities and persons with reduced mobility (PRM) can still face when travelling by air.

Elisabeth Kotthaus, European Commission; Eleni Kaloyirou, CEO of Hermes Airports Ltd (the operators of Pafos International); and Nadia Hadad, a member of the Executive Committee of EDF

This year’s Accessible Airport Award, presented by Ms. Elisabeth Kotthaus, Head of Unit Social Affairs, Passengers Rights & Equal Opportunities, DG Mobility & Transport, European Commission, & Nadia Hadad, Member of the Board and the Executive Committee of EDF, went to Pafos International Airport.

The judges considered that the airport stands out for its holistic approach to accessibility with introduced features with regard to border control (including the “Border Express Kiosk”) and E-Gates, available “accessible taxis” and parking pay machines with lower height for easy accessibility.

The airport was also praised for actively involving persons with disabilities and organisations of persons with disabilities in the processes of improving its accessibility. The judges also emphasised that the airport has introduced an automatic PRM service management system, which can be evaluated by passengers.

The judging panel for the Accessible Airport Award was comprised of EDF Executive Committee and the Unit Social Aspects, Passenger Rights & Equal Opportunities at the Directorate General for Mobility and Transport, European Commission.

Copenhagen Airport was highly commended for its staff expertise in providing PRM assistance and the organisations of PRM events.

Human Resources Excellence Award

The ACI EUROPE Human Resources Excellence Award was created to recognise individuals who have demonstrated excellent leadership and human resources management among ACI EUROPE’s regular members.

Lene Beier-Simonsen Holling, HR Development Director at Copenhagen Airport, and Angela Gittens, Director General of ACI World

The objective of this annual award – now in its second year – is to give exposure to innovative examples that will help the airport community to better assess and implement the new procedures and skills needed to develop the industry’s workforce. This is increasingly important in view of the various challenges facing human resources directors and airport leaders, such as mobility, succession planning, training, well-being and digitalisation.

This year’s Human Resources Excellence Award went to Lene Beier-Simonsen Holling, HR Development Director at Copenhagen Airport, for putting in place a clear strategy on engagement and employer branding that provides inspiration to the whole airport community. Lene was also praised for developing a solid programme to improve leadership and to create a cohesive and focused culture, which included a formidable use of gamification and technology.

Natasa Iacovides, Senior Manager Human Resources at Hermes Airport, was highly commended for this award.

World Business Partner Recognition Award

Dr Michael Kerkloh, President of ACI EUROPE and CEO of Munich Airport, and Andrew Meaney, Partner at Oxera Consulting

The World Business Partner Recognition Award went to Oxera Consulting LLP, an ACI EUROPE member since January 2007. Its representatives play an active role in the ACI EUROPE Economics Committee. It has also produced two independent studies, commissioned by ACI EUROPE. Oxera was honoured for its solid expertise and advice to the airport industry and for delivering high-quality studies with objectivity and in-depth insight.

The awards were presented to the winners by Henrik Hololei, Director General Transport European Commission, Salvatore Sciacchitano, Executive Secretary European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC); Eamonn Brennan, Director General EUROCONTROL; Elisabeth Kotthaus, Head of Unit Social Affairs, Passengers Rights & Equal Opportunities, DG Mobility & Transport, European Commission; Eduardo Santander, Executive Director European Travel Commission; Olivier Jankovec, Director General ACI EUROPE; Angela Gittens, Director General ACI World, and Dr Michael Kerkloh, President ACI EUROPE & President and CEO Munich Airport.

The 29th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition will be hosted by Hermes Airports and will take place in Cyprus on 25-27 June 2019.

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