Best airports for hygiene

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Inverness and London City airports are the only ones in the UK (no winners in Ireland) to feature in the annual 2020 ASQ Award winners for “Best Airport by Size & Region.”

London City Airport
London City Airport which – along with Inverness Airport – were the only British and Irish airports to appear in the latest ASQ lists


The ASQ (Airport Service Quality) programme measures passengers’ satisfaction across 34 key performance indicators. This year, ACI adapted the quality control process for the awards to ensure, it says, “the benchmarking and findings from the ASQ surveys remained of the highest quality during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

You have to ask yourself whether it was worth selecting winners from last years’ research carried out by ACI, the “trade union” for airports around the world. In any other year the awards are significant because they compare airports around the world, are carried out following standard market research rules and use the contributions of hundreds of thousands of travellers.

But last year was anything but a busy year with passenger numbers down by up to 90% across some airports. Few leisure passengers flew in Europe outside the short summer period when lockdowns were removed so business passengers might predominate. They can be separated out but even then the people who travelled last year are probably not indicative of the usual flying population.  

Perhaps the data for the Far East is useful because China largely returned to normal but elsewhere?

ACI introduced a new category into its judging last year – best hygiene measures – and these are of greater interest to passengers because sanitising and hygiene is of interest to everyone these days and passengers pay special attention to what is being provided to them.

Not one British or Irish airport appears in the list of winners but plenty of those to which passengers regularly fly in a “normal” year do.

Portugal does well with the airports at Faro, Madeira, Ponte Delgado (Azores) and Porto on mainland Portugal all picking up awards.

Spain also manages well so the airports at Menorca, Alicante. Murcia, Santander, Pamplona and Granada collect awards.

Elsewhere in Europe, Belgrade, Helsinki, Kevlavik (Iceland), Skopje, (North Macedonia) and Tallinn acquire gongs.

Further afield, Atlanta, New Orleans, San Antonio, Toronto, Tampa and Victoria in the Canadian province of British Columbia collect awards in North America.

The Dominican Republic is a favourite holiday destination and the airport at Punta Cana gathers an award as does the airport at Port Louis on Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, the only African winner.

In Asia most of the well-known airports don’t appear in the awards’ listings. Chandigarh, Kolkata and Pune from India get awards as do Bandung, Jakarta and Pangkal Pinang in Indonesia. The only other Asian winner is one of the airports in Beijing – Beijing Daxing International.

No airport in Australia, New Zealand or the Pacific appears in the list.

Hopefully when the awards are announced next year, things will be a bit more “normal.”

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