Indian airports continued to shine in the annual Airport Councils International (ACI) rankings. The ranking which were released on 9th March 2020 saw addition of categories over last year. This year saw 140 awards being won by 84 airports across the world. Last year, seven airports from India had made it to the list while there were eleven airports the year before.
Chandigarh Airport (IATA: IXC), Mangalore Airport (IATA: IXE) and Trivandrum (IATA: TRV) were named best airports in Asia Pacific in 2 – 5 million passengers category where a total of seven airports were declared winners.
In the 5 – 15 million category, Chaudhary Charan Singh Airport, Lucknow (IATA: LKO) and Cochin International Airport (IATA: COK) were part of the six airports adjudged best in the category.
Rajiv Gandhi Airport, Hyderabad (IATA: HYD) was one of the three “Best” airports in Asia Pacific in the 15 – 25 million passengers category, while Kempegowada International Airport, Bengaluru (IATA: BLR) made it as one of the two best airports in Asia Pacific in the 25 – 40 million passengers category.
Both Mumbai and Delhi airports made it to the above 40 million passenger’s category and they share the space with Shanghai and Singapore Changi.
Last year, ACI introduced new categories which included Best Ambience and Environment. Chandigarh airport made it to the list of Best environment and ambience in the 2 – 5 million passengers category. Lucknow Airport, Hyderabad and Bengaluru airports also were awarded in the same category in their respective passenger category.
Additional categories have been introduced this year which includes Best customer service category. Chandigarh, Lucknow and Bengaluru airports made it to the list in their respective passenger category this year. The same airports also made it to the list of Best Infrastructure and Facilitation – another new category.
The Kempegowda International Airport, Bengaluru was adjudged the Best airport experience in Arrivals, where there was only one winner.
Personally, I feel that over the years the awards having been losing its value for multiple reasons. First – the awards have started recognizing more than one winner and secondly – after having frequented at Bengaluru, Mumbai and Delhi over the years – the congestion and issues hardly resemble a world class airport across terminals. With current construction work in progress, even Delhi’s famed Terminal 3 is facing challenges – right from the entry point and Bengaluru continues to be congested at all hours of the day from Entry to Security Hold Area. Indian airports would do a better job by focusing on getting ground level feedback than using social media to promote voting and be a winner amongst many!
With privatization of airports, India will see airports being run by GMR, GVK, Fairfax, Cochin International Airport, Kannur International Airport and Adani’s in fray along with the state run Airports Authority of India (AAI). The competitive spirit will help improve the airport infrastructure and service quality, in the next few years.