- Feb 23, 2009
IGI best improved airport in Asia-Pacific region, says survey
Having seen rapid development and improved infrastructure post-privatisation in 2006, the Indira Gandhi International (IGI) Airport today ranks first in the category of ‘best improved airports’ in the Asia-Pacific region, according to a survey by the Airports Council International (ACI).
The airport is also the fourth best in the world in the ACI’s annual airport service quality (ASQ) award in the category of 15 to 25 million passenger traffic per annum.
The Geneva-based ACI is a non-profit organisation that promotes professional excellence in airport management. “The 2009 passenger ratings show that despite the economic crisis, overall satisfaction at airports increased by almost three per cent worldwide compared to 2008. Nearly 82 per cent airports were rated for stable or improved performance,” Craig Bradbrook, ASQ programme director said in a communiqué issued by the organisation.
The awards will be formally presented on May 13 at the ACI Asia-Pacific Regional Conference and Exhibition in China.
“When we took charge in 2006, we had set ourselves a goal to be among the top 10 airports in the world in terms of service quality in the overall category. With the inauguration of Terminal 3 in July, the airport will surely achieve its dream,” G M Rao, GMR Group chairman, said. After the launch of Terminal 3, the airport would be able to handle 60 million passengers per annum.
“The dual distinction is a great motivating factor. The achievement is a result of efforts by all stakeholders. We’re confident the ratings will improve with the opening of T3,” P S Nair, Delhi International Airport Limited CEO, said.
How are airports rated?
The airports are rated on 34 parameters under 10 broad categories. Some of these are directly or indirectly attributable to a host of other agencies at the airport, including key regulatory and facilitating agencies like customs, immigration, security, airlines and ground handlers. By order of importance, these categories include an airport’s ambience, cleanliness of the terminal, comfort at waiting areas, availability and cleanliness of washrooms, courtesy of staff, business lounges, connectivity , passport and ID inspection experience and good shopping facilities.
Hyd airport among world’s top five
Hyderabad: The GMR Rajiv Gandhi International Airport (RGIA) has been rated in the top five best airports among the 5-15 million passengers capacity airport in the world by the Airports Council International (ACI) in its Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey.
RGIA was developed and operated by GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd and started its commercial operations in 2008.
Being the first PPP venture in the airport infrastructure sector, the project partners include GMR Infra (63%), Malaysia Airports Holdings Berhad (11%), AAI (13%) and Andhra Pradesh government (13%). The airport has handled over 6.5 million passengers till date and has the second longest runway of 4,260 metre and is designed to handle 12 million passengers. The airport handles 11 international and nine domestic airlines; connects 35 destinations both domestic and international put together and has two cargo services---Blue Dart for domestic and Lufthansa for international purposes.
"Winning an award is just the beginning for us. I am confident that this award will spur us on to continuously raise the bar and remain the best airport in the world for providing customer satisfaction and delight,'' P Sripathy, CEO, said. The airport had traffic of 6.4 million passengers a year.
ASQ is used by many airports as one of the key performance indicators of airport's services and is often linked into service level agreements, key performance indicators, concession agreements, privatization agreements and remuneration contracts all over the world. As many as 50 airports in the 5-15 million category competed with the RGIA for the coveted position in 2009. In fact, this was made achievable due to coordinated efforts by its partners which included housekeeping staff, all the airlines, ground handlers, CISF, Customs, Immigration, the transport community, the food and beverage operators and retailers.
Incidentally, last year was a tough year for airports worldwide. Traffic numbers fell while competition rose. For airports, it was a year of balancing tight budgets with high customer expectations for service excellence. ASQ has won industry recognition as a world class benchmarking programme. As of February 2010, ASQ counts 140 participating airports. To be eligible for the annual ASQ awards, an airport must participate during all four quarters of the year, using the standard questionnaire.