Airport association ACI EUROPE has announced the winners of its Best Airport awards, naming Dublin Airport as Europe’s most accessible.
The awards were announced during the Gala Dinner of the 26th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, in Athens on Tuesday night.
The judges are represented by independent industry experts including EUROCONTROL, European Commission, European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC), European Travel Commission (ETC), and FlightGlobal.
Airports were recognised in four categories, relative to their traffic numbers, with the Accessible Airport Award introduced this year marking the 10th anniversary of the adoption of Regulation (EC) 1107/2006 which protects the rights of the disabled and persons with reduced mobility.
For this award ACI EUROPE partnered with the European Disability Forum (EDF). The judging panel consisted of members of the European Disability Forum’s Executive Committee as well as Fotis Karamitsos, Acting Deputy Director-General for Mobility and Transport; Coordination of Directorates C and D, European Commission.
The objective of the new award is not only to honour the best airport making advancements towards universally accessible travel, but also to encourage peer airports to do more to address the needs of the disabled and PRMs.
As ACI EUROPE explains, Judges selected Dublin Airport to receive the first award of its kind because they believe the airport excels in accessibility features and facilities.
These include changing places, two separate relief areas for guide dogs, fully accessible retail and catering areas, and service level agreements for assistance that exceed the standards of ECAC Doc 30.
Dublin Airport was also recognised for its accessible website which meets the AA standard of WCAG 2.0, the recommended level to ensure accessibility of this technology to persons with disabilities.
Yannis Yallouros, Member of the EDF’s Executive Committee gave Dublin Airport the award.
Larnaca Airport also received a highly commended airport recognition in this category for giving disabled and PRM passengers a positive travelling experience and making great progress towards eliminating the travel barriers for these passengers.
Best In Class Honours
Other honours issued to Europe’s airports for passenger experience improvements during ACI EUROPE’s General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition included:
Keflavik Airport, recognised as best in class for airports under 5 million passengers.
Glasgow Airport, recognised as best in class for airports between 5-10 million passengers.
Brussels Airport, recognised as best in class for airports in the 10-25 million passenger category.
London Heathrow Airport for the over 25 million passengers category.
Adolfo Suárez Madrid-Barajas received a highly commended recognition in the over 25 million passenger category.
Johan Schölvinck, Vice-President Commercial InterVISTAS, Consultant for NACO and Vice-Chair of the ACI EUROPE Commercial Forum, received a WBP Recognition award in recognition of his airport industry expertise and commitment to ACI EUROPE’s Commercial Forum’s Business Transformation Task Force.
The judges noted Schölvinck’s leadership and interpersonal skills, as well as his ability to inspire members of the ACI EUROPE Commercial Forum “to explore new areas of interest, to bring added value to the commercial topics and to ensure all work initiatives are successfully completed,” ACI EUROPE states.
ACI EUROPE also introduced a new Leader of the Year Award category this year, given to Arnaud Feist, CEO of Brussels Airport Company, in recognition of his “extraordinary leadership and courage, together with remarkable decisiveness and wisdom in managing the aftermath of the terrorist attack at Brussels Airport.”
Augustin de Romanet, President of ACI EUROPE and President & CEO Aéroports S.A.-Groupe ADP gave Arnaud Feist his award.