Athens took home the award for Best International Airport 2021 in the ’25-40 million passengers’ category at the annual Best Airport Awards held by ACI Europe.
Winners were announced at a Conference Dinner of the 31st ACI EUROPE Annual Congress and General Assembly, which took place in Geneva, Switzerland.
The Best Airport Awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievement across the entire portfolio of airport activities. This year’s 17th edition of the celebrated accolades focused 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 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,” announced ACI Europe.
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.
The judging panel also highlighted the airport’s continued carbon management prowess, with ‘Airport Carbon Accreditation’ Level 3+ upheld in spite of the ongoing crisis. Furthermore, Athens Airport is not only committed to achieving Net Zero CO2 emissions by 2025 but also to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, the airport’s efforts to increase the use of renewable energy at the airport was praised.
The judging panel comprised representatives from the European Commission, EUROCONTROL, SESAR Joint Undertaking, International Transport Forum and ECAC. Eco-Innovation Award submissions were held to scrutiny by the Advisory Board of ‘Airport Carbon Accreditation’, and the Accessible Airport winner was identified with the help of the European Disability Forum.
Winners in All Categories
Under 5 million Passengers
Romania’s Cluj Avram Iancu International Airport.
Toulon-Hyères Airport was highly commended in this category.
5-10 Million Passengers
Falcone Borsellino Palermo Airport.
Milan Linate Airport was highly commended in this category.
10-25 Million Passengers
Vnukovo International Airport.
Porto Airport was highly commended in this category.
25-40 Million Passengers
Athens International Airport.
Lisbon Airport was highly commended in this category.
Over 40 Million Passengers
iGA Istanbul Grand Airport.
Barcelona and Madrid Airports were highly commended for this Award.