Above: Cork Airport in Ireland won best airport under five million passengers
ACI Europe has unveiled the winners of its 2017 Best Airport Awards, which this year was hosted by airport operator Groupe ADP in Paris, France.
More than 500 airports in 45 European countries are ACI Europe members and this year’s competition saw a high level of entries in each category.
The first award, recognizing airports in the ‘under five million passenger’ category, went to Cork Airport in Ireland. The judges valued the improvement of the airport facilities and use of innovative technologies (advanced parking solution, queue measurement system) along with its investments in safety and staff recognition schemes.
The winner of the ‘5-10 million passenger’ category was Naples International Airport in Italy. The judges singled it out for the airport’s excellent combination of smart airport management working with tourism development, recognizing the airport as a great economic driver of regional tourism.
This year’s award in the ’10-25 million passenger’ category went to Alicante-Elche Airport in Spain. The airport was recognized for its customer service for airlines and incentive schemes, which enabled it to open 38 new routes and add nine new airlines. The judges also highlighted the airport’s improvements to its facilities, in particular its efforts to cater to different categories of passengers, such as children and persons with reduced mobility (PRM), and to improve passenger flows at security control areas.
In the category for airports with ‘over 25 million passengers’, this year’s ACI Europe Best Airport Award went to Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas Airport in Spain. The airport won praise from the judges for its outstanding achievements in all domains with particular reference to its excellent strategy to boost the air connectivity between Europe and South America and to the continuous introduction of advanced technical innovations.
The judges noted, in particular, the airport’s achievements in safety management as well as improvements in the passenger experience, including monitoring queuing times at security checks, live music, art exhibitions and its Personal Shopper Service.
In addition, this year’s Accessible Airport Award went to Larnaca International Airport in Cyprus. The judges considered that the airport stands out for its remarkable accessible friendly initiatives, namely in terms of boarding equipment and in terms of the level of accessibility with regard to check-in machines and e-gates.
The judges noted that Larnaca International Airport offers interesting additional features, such as sockets for electric wheelchairs, free parking for 120 minutes, and cooperation with senior travel groups that specialize in PRM accessibility, as well as much improved accessibility features on the airport website.