Edinburgh is ‘Best in Europe’

Edinburgh Airport has run away with the ‘Best Airport’ trophy at the ACI Europe Awards, shrugging off competition from six other hubs, including Birmingham, Cologne in Germany, and Marseille in France.

Held at the Estoril Congress Centre in Lisbon, Portugal, the ACI Europe Awards reward “excellence and achievement” in the aviation industry. Participants are nominated in one of four groupings according to the number of travellers handled at the airport during the previous year. Edinburgh, with annual traffic in the region of 8.5m, featured in the ‘Best Airport – 5-10m Passengers’ category.

“The airport excels in all the key areas of operations”, explained a press release on the ACI Europe website. “However, the judges singled (Edinburgh) out for the dedication of its management and staff.” Kevin Brown, Edinburgh’s managing director, said that he was “particularly pleased” that airport workers were responsible for the hub’s success in Lisbon. Mr. Brown noted that Edinburgh had battled volcanic ash, snow, and industrial action to emerge victorious at the awards ceremony.

Struggling airport, Bournemouth, stole the award in the ‘1-5m Passengers’ contest, while Antalya Airport in Turkey was the victor in the ‘10-25m Passengers’ category. Representatives from Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport, a “model in terms of efficiency”, returned to Holland with the ‘Best Airport – Over 25m Passengers’ award.

An ‘Eco-Innovation Award’, won by Zurich Airport, and a ‘WBP Recognition Award’, which rewards individuals who have contributed to the betterment of the aviation industry, were also contested this year. The latter accolade was claimed by Harry Diehl, former executive of German retail firm, Gebr. Heinemann.

The 2011 ACI Europe Awards, held on June 17, has been running for seven years.

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