Airports Council International (ACI) has announced that for the fourth consecutive year, airports in the Asia Pacific region have taken top honours in the 2008 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey.

South Korea’s Incheon International Airport won the best airport award with Singapore’s Changi International in second and Hong Kong International Airport in third.

The top performing airports in other regions were Zurich, Switzerland (Europe), Halifax, Canada (North America), Guayaquil, Ecuador (Latin America and Caribbean), Tel Aviv (Middle East) and George, South Africa (Africa).

In the five categories based on annual-passenger traffic size, top honours went to Halifax (less than five million), Central Japan (Nagoya) (five to 15 million), Taipei (15 to 25 million), Seoul Incheon (25 to 40 million) and Hong Kong (over 40 million).

Director general of ACI, Angela Gittens, said that the ASQ survey, which captures passengers’ perceptions of more than 30 aspects of airport service, served as an industry quality benchmark.

“This reflects the importance airports are placing on customer satisfaction and the innovation in services that we are seeing worldwide,” Gittens said.

Some of the factors taken into account by the survey include; the provision of a spotlessly clean terminal and a relaxed, open, friendly ambience as well as comfortable waiting areas, good signage and clean, readily accessible washrooms.

ACI also recognise the central role that airport staff play in the delivery of services to passengers. Accordingly ACI established a regional award for the airport which, in the opinion of the passengers, has the best staff. The Airport People Award winners in 2008 were Southampton (Europe), Incheon (Asia Pacific) and Halifax (North America).

The best improved airport award went to Beijing Capital International in recognition of their events during the Beijing Olympic Games.

To be eligible for the annual rankings, an airport must participate during all four quarters of the year. In 2008, the rankings were based on the results of over 200,000 questionnaires completed by passengers at 108 airports.

By Daniel Garrun.