Very recently, I met a friend who has been covering the airports in the world since 2006. As an avid traveler and frequent flyer, I was quite intrigued by his knowledge base on the terminals, facilities and other amenities provided by airports in most major cities across the globe. He shared an interesting list released by Airports Council International (Montreal based)-an umbrella trade association connected with world’s facilities. This list featured the winners of the coveted and highly revered Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards.
Created in 2006, The ASQ Awards is akin to the Oscars of the world of airports. This award utilizes the ACI survey to question passengers on their thoughts and opinions linked with their airport experiences — from check-in to departure through the gate! Covering more than 285 airports globally, the awards measure passengers’ views on over 34 key service indicators which serve as accurate benchmarks and objectives of top performing airports. More than 350,000 on-off and regular passengers were interviewed before boarding their flights in the year 2013 and were requested to rate their satisfaction with that particular airport that day-before the nomination for the awards were announced.(image by Chuck Heeke)
To be eligible for these ASQ Awards that are given out on an annual basis, an airport has to participate in the ASQ Survey each month of the year. This survey has to be carried out in line with the airport’s sample plan and is strictly regulated. The underlying idea behind the survey has been developed by ACI-an organization that vouches for a representative sample of destinations, flights, and passenger groups catered by the airport. The popular ASQ Awards are offered for four categories: Best Airport by Size, Best Airport by Region, Best Small Airport and also for Best Improvement.
With airports facing an increase in competition and gearing up to meet the heavy demands of the booming aviation market, it is indeed essential to a lay focus on exceeding and appropriately meeting passenger expectations. Factual intelligence guides the efforts of airport managers and provides smart ways of optimizing their investments. According to experts in the field, ASQ Survey is an important tool that is used to provide data which enables airports to identify the value based needs of their passengers and guide the airport community towards acts that help them achieve excellence and repute in customer services.
Take a quick look at the winners of ASQ awards -in accordance to regions.
1st Prize Best Airports by Region
Equador’s Guayaquil (Latin America-Caribbean), Indianapolis (North America), Abu Dhabi (Middle East), Seoul Incheon (Asia-Pacific), Moscow Sheremetyevo (Europe), Cape Town (Africa). The airports in Guayaquil, Cape Town and Abu Dhabi are repeat awardees while Seoul has won on six occasions-all in a row.
1st price for Best Airport by Size (in millions of passengers /year)
Haikou (5-15m), Seoul Incheon (25-40m), Changchun (2-5m), Seoul Gimpo (15-25m), Singapore (over 40m).
1st price for Best Small Airport (Less than 2 million passengers/year)
Skopje (Europe), Mazatlan (Latin America-Caribbean), Upington (Africa), Quebec City (North America Langkawi (Asia-Pacific).
1st price for Best Improvement
Kolkata (Asia-Pacific), Amman (Middle East), Gothenburg (Europe), Nassau (Latin America-Caribbean), East London (Africa), San Antonio (North America). (image by John Arundel)
Very educational indeed!
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Feature image Daniel Piraino