May 25, 2012 09:30
Incheon International Airport was named the world's best airport for the seventh year running on Thursday at an event attended by around 500 guests in Singapore. The Airports Council International, an organization of around 1,700 airports around the world, announces its Airport Service Quality ranking every year.
"Incheon International Airport now faces new challenges," ACI secretary general Angela Gittens told the Chosun Ilbo before the award ceremony. It scored 4.95 out of five points, but competition is intensifying, she said, as rivals benchmark its achievements.
Singapore's Changi Airport came second with 4.86 points, while Beijing Capital International Airport overtook Hong Kong's Chek Lap Kok International Airport for the first time to take third place. Beijing Capital ranked fourth last year with 4.67 points, but scored 4.82 points this year. In 2008, it expanded its passenger terminal to handle 82 million visitors a year. Incheon can handle 44 million visitors a year.
Incheon also faces increasing opposition from European airports. "This year may be the last time we award the best airport prize," Gittens said.
The ACI's Asia-Pacific board of directors decided at a meeting on Wednesday to stop awarding the overall prize next year because European airports complained that Incheon dominates it even though there are many outstanding airports in the EU. But ACI will continue to award prizes according to region and airport scale.
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