Perhaps now you'll look forward to a flight transfer in one of the winning airports

Which are Europe’s best airports?

Which are Europe’s best airports?

ACI Europe announced the winners in various categories

The Airports Council International (ACI) Europe announced the winners of its Best Airport Awards at an annual conference congress, which took place in Geneva (Switzerland). This year’s 17th edition of the celebrated accolades was held with a particular focus on the many ways in which airports are not only responding but innovating during the COVID-19 pandemic while focusing on the airport industry’s sustainability goals.

The ACI is a global trade representative of the world’s airport authorities. Its mission is to lobby and represent the interests of that sector when dealing with governments and international organizations.

Find the winners here

The awards were categorized by airport capacity sizes.

This year’s Award in the ‘under 5 million passengers’ category went to Romania’s Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport for its unswerving focus on safeguarding jobs throughout the COVID-19 crisis, with significant measures taken to repurpose the workforce to adapt to the pandemic conditions. The airport was also praised for its swift recovery of passenger traffic. The airport’s efforts to bring in new airlines and new routes with its strong incentives programme have resulted in Cluj now boasting more routes than pre-pandemic.

The winner of the ‘5-10 million passengers’ category was Falcone Borsellino Palermo Airport. The airport secured the Award for its strong sustainability credentials, with the achievement of Level 2 ‘reduction’ of Airport Carbon Accreditation this year, as well as the introduction of sustainability-oriented projects including an environmentally sustainable car park extension, a natural reserve project, a scheme to reuse wastewater, and electrifying GPUs and vehicles. 

This year’s Award in the ‘10-25 million passenger’ category went to Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow. The airport was singled out for its array of initiatives and innovations, in particular its continued investments in digital and contactless technologies, including new security equipment.

The winner of the ’25-40 million passengers’ category was Athens International Airport. The busiest airport in Greece won the judges over by producing a plan for recovery that focuses on improving customer and passenger experience through the implementation of the Greek concept of philoxenia or hospitality. The judges particularly liked the way Athens Airport embraces AI and virtual reality (such as measuring passengers’ emotional engagement, offering a virtual assistant and a 3D virtual airport tour) in its bid to bring passenger experience to the next level.
This year’s Award in the ‘over 40 million passengers’ category went to iGA Istanbul Grand Airport in recognition of its leadership position among the continent’s hubs. 

The additional awards

This year’s Eco-Innovation Award went to Stockholm Arlanda Airport, the busiest airport operated by Swedavia, the world’s first airport operator to achieve net-zero CO2 emissions.

Examples of the airport’s initiatives include: procurement of 100% renewable electricity and district heating, replacing of regular diesel with 100% fossil-free diesel (HVO100), phasing out vehicles and equipment that can’t run on fossil-free fuels or replacing them with electrical alternatives, and more efficient lighting (including LEDs, motion detectors, and automatic systems).

In the field of Digital Transformation, this year’s winner is Aeroporti di Roma S.p.A., the operator of Rome Fiumicino and Ciampino airports. The judges recognised that the focus on innovation and digital solutions has become an inextricable part of the Italian airport operator’s DNA. In particular, the judging panel appreciated the airport’s investment in the brand new Airport Operations Centre, opened earlier this year and deploying the most advanced technological fittings to improve and streamline airport operations.

The airport also garnered acclaim for its plans to set up an Innovation Hub to nurture technological and processual breakthroughs directly at the airport, and for launching a Call for Ideas, encouraging start-ups around the world to submit their projects for later deployment at the Roman hubs.



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