Fiumicino Airport seen from above, Source: Depositphotos

These are Europe’s best airports, in all sizes

These are Europe’s best airports, in all sizes

Airports Council International’s annual ranking has shown that some air transport hubs maintain consistently high quality

On 28 June, at the MNAC – National Museum of Catalunya in Barcelona, Spain, the Airports Council International gave out the awards for the best airports in Europe. The 2023 Best Airport Awards were divided into categories according to airport passenger traffic, as per 2019 numbers.

The Best Airport Awards recognise excellence, top achievements and thought leadership across an entire range of airport activities and for airports of all sizes and profiles. It is a good way to compare your own experiences when travelling and spending time stranded at an airport waiting for a connecting flight.

The jury, however, also heavily took into account the sustainability efforts initiated by the management of the flight terminals. Without further ado here are the:

Best five in all sizes

In terms of passenger traffic, the largest airport category is aimed at these facilities that handle more than 40 million passengers annually. The winner in that category is Rome’s Fiumicino Airport, also known as Leonardo da Vinci.

That hub has been declared Europe’s best large airport for the fifth time in six years, which is quite an achievement.

Welcoming the news on Twitter, Rome mayor Roberto Gualtieri said the airport's latest accolade offered an example of how "investments in innovation and sustainability have translated into great efficiency and hospitality".

In fact, Fiumicino has been praised for its commitment to innovation. It was, for instance, the first in the world to issue a sustainability‑linked bond, a pioneering solution for achieving sustainability commitments.

Athens International Airport snatched the Best in 25-40 million passengers category award. Sustainability was also a strong selling point there. With an impressive ambition to be net zero by 2025, its innovative “ROUTE 2025” strategy aims to produce energy on‑site using photovoltaics to cover 100% of the airport’s electricity needs.

In the mid-size category (10-25 million passengers), it was Helsinki Airport that shined the brightest according to the jury. The airport has improved its resilience and operational efficiency by successfully consolidating two terminals into a single terminal facility, a challenging undertaking.

Another Italian airport, Milan’s Linate, took the best spot in the 5-10 million passengers category. Its commitment is to achieve net zero status by 2030. The judges commended its passenger-centric approach with a dedication to providing seamless and secure passenger travel by investing in innovative solutions such as Explosive Detection Systems for Cabin Baggage (EDS-CB) equipment and Face Boarding services.

In the smallest category, Under 5 million passengers, two airports got to share the award, both of them located on islands – Madeira Airport (Portugal) and Menorca Airport (Spain). The joint winners showcased exceptional performances, particularly in their post-pandemic recoveries. And in terms of innovation, Madeira Airport was praised for its creation of a Care Team, which is there to aid accessibility and boost passenger experience.



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