March 11, 2013
The Huntsville Times
There's a reason they're smiling in the concourses of the Tampa and Jacksonville international airports this morning. The Florida airports are the only ones in the South on list of the world's best airports released today by Airports Council International.
Tampa was No. 3 and Jacksonville was No. 5 on the ACI's list of the five best regional airports in North America in 2012. The other regional winners in North America were Indianapolis (No. 1), Ottawa (2) and Sacramento (4).
For your booking plans, the best mega-airports were all in Asia: Hohot in China, Nagoya in Japan, Seoul Gimpo and Seoul Incheon in South Korea and Singapore. Fun fact: Singapore handles more than 40 million passengers per year.
The best airports in high-traffic regions outside North America were, in order, Cape Town (Africa), Seoul Incheon (Asia-Pacific), Moscow Sheremetyevo (Europe), Cancun (Latin America-Caribbean) and Abu Dhabi (Middle East). In the markets under 2 million passengers per year, the best were Upington (Africa), Skopje (Europe) and Victoria (North America).
Most improved? Give a shout-out to Mombasa (Africa), Sanya (Asia), Faro (Europe), Santo Domingo (Latin America), Abu-Dhabi (Middle East) and Winnipeg (North America).
Why does winning an ACI award matter? Organization World Director Angela Giffens said in a press release that there's a clear link between passenger satisfaction and airport revenues. "Airports that deliver superior customer service stand apart from the competition and superior customer service remains one of the most important differentiators in the increasingly competitive airport industry," Gittens said.