The Skytrax World Airport Awards were just announced and the overall winner was Changi Airport (SIN) in Singapore, a well deserved honor. Incheon (ICN), which won last year, finished second this year. Amsterdam (AMS) and Hong Kong (HKG) reversed positions this year at number three and four while Beijing (PEK) once again rounded out the top five.
It is no surprise that four of the top five are Asian airports. They excel in every area from overall design to check-in, immigration, facilities, lounges, and gate access. The only North American airport to make the top ten was Vancouver (YVR), ranked this year at number eight.
Many other awards were presented. Tokyo’s Hanada Airport (HND) won for best domestic airport as well as the cleanest airport. Perhaps a bit surprising, Cincinnati (CVG) beat out all other U.S. airports and placed fourth in this category. While it was one of my favorite airports, they have been suffering through reduced services for quite some time so I haven’t flown through there as much lately.
Another surprise to me was Frankfort (FRA) winning as the most improved airport. Flying into there only a few months ago, my plane stopped just short of the gate and sure enough, we had to wait for the stairs to arrive because there was no jetway. After walking down the steps to a waiting bus, there was a ten-minute drive around the airport to our entrance far from the gate. Hardly the most improved to me. Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) was ranked fourth in this category, presumably for their new international terminal.
For those who are curious how regional airports in North America ranked, CVG was the winner followed by Denver (DEN), Halifax (YHZ), Minneapolis (MSP), Detroit (DTW), Houston George Bush (IAH), Raleigh-Durham (RDU), Charlotte (CLT), Salt Lake City (SLC), and Pittsburgh (PIT).