New names on the winner’s podium this year include Jaipur in India, which won both the global Best Airport by Size and Best Airport by Size and Region (Asia-Pacific) awards in the 2-5 million passengers per annum category.
While Sochi, Saint Petersburg–Pulkovo and Dublin triumphed in the respective 2-5mppa, 5-15mppa and 15-25mppa categories in the Best by Size and Region section for Europe.
Saint Petersburg–Pulkovo also finished equal top with Moscow Sheremetyevo and Sochi, to complete a clean sweep for Russian airports in the Best Airport in Europe category.
Others gaining top spots for the first time included Grand Rapids in the US, which came out on top in the 2-5mppa group in the Best by Size and Region category for North America while Denpasar (Asia-Pacific), Dammam (Middle East), Istanbul Atatürk (Europe), Kingston–Norman Manley (Latin America-Caribbean), Nairobi (Africa) and Saskatoon (North America) all won Most Improved Airport accolades.
Customer service king, Incheon International Airport, won the Best by Size in the Over 40mppa category and retained its Best in Asia-Pacific title for the eleventh-year running, although this time it had to share the honour with Singapore Changi as the two super hubs couldn’t be separated on the score cards.
ACI also found it impossible to separate India’s Mumbai–Chhatrapati Shivaji and Delhi–Indira Gandhi airports for top spot in the Best Airport by Size category for gateways handling between 25 and 40 million passengers per annum.
“Airports’ increasing concentration on ensuring a stellar passenger experience is part of a larger trend,” notes ACI World’s director general, Angela Gittens.
“Airports have evolved into complex, customer-focused businesses in their own right that in many cases are in competition with each other for passenger traffic.
“From duty free and restaurants to ambience, cleanliness, courtesy of staff, amenities, efficiency and more, air travellers are expecting big things from the airports through which they travel.
“More than anything, ASQ is a way for participants to measure the extent to which they deliver on these expectations.”
ASQ is the world’s premier passenger service benchmarking programme for airports, delivered over 550,000 in-depth passenger surveys at over 300 airports across more than 80 countries worldwide last year.
The 2015 results represent the world’s best in class airports where improving the customer experience is concerned – appraised by passengers while they are travelling and the experience is fresh in their minds.
Dublin Airport's managing director, Vincent Harrison, is among the first airport bosses to give his reaction to the results.
Harrison, who saw his gateway voted No.1 in the 15-25mppa category in the Best by Size and Region section for Europe, enthuses: “This is a very significant achievement for Dublin Airport.
“A few short years ago Dublin Airport was rock bottom in its peer group of airports surveyed in ACI’s service quality rankings.
"Since then we were determined to improve our customers’ experience of the airport and we have done that every year to get to this top spot.
“The key areas to drive passenger satisfaction at Dublin Airport are courtesy and helpfulness of staff, security, check-in, cleanliness and the Departure Gates.
“We are passionate about improving our customers’ experience further and it is a key priority of our management and staff at Dublin Airport to continue to do that."
Talking about Dublin's performance, ACI's Gittens notes: “Dublin Airport’s number one ranking in Europe demonstrates its professionalism, commitment and success in delivering that high level of customer service."
Dublin Airport had its busiest ever year in 2015, as a record 25 million passengers travelled through the airport.
Our picture above shows Harrison (centre) celebrating the No. 1 spot for passenger service with Dublin Airport terminal services officer, Yanina Khizhinskaya, and terminal services officer, Niall Feiritear.