A pat for UAE airports

Angela Gittens,  Director General, Airports Council International (ACI)

Angela Gittens, Director General, Airports Council International (ACI)

Airports Council International (ACI) recently announced the winners of the 2016 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards, recognising those airports whose customers rated them as delivering the best overall experience during the year. We are proud to say that ASQ is the only customer service benchmarking programme that surveys airport customers on their day of travel; it is not available to individuals that may not have actually experienced the airport nor does it rely on memory.

In the ten years of learning about their customers and recognizing that the customer experience is a competitive factor in the attraction and retention of air service for their communities, airport managers around the world have consistently raised their customer service levels. As such, we have our largest group of winners yet with categories that have been designed to recognize the achievements of airports of different sizes and in different regions.

The UAE airports have definitely distinguished themselves. I congratulate Abu Dhabi International Airport for having won first place in Best Airport by Region and Most Improved Airport; and, Dubai International Airport for having won third place in Best Airport by Region. 

The ASQ Survey measures customers’ evaluations of 34 key performance indicators, including check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants, virtually every touchpoint of the passenger’s journey at the airport. The fact that every airport in the programme uses the same survey allows airport management to benchmark themselves to others as well as to themselves over time, and provides them with the tools to adapt to their customers’ needs as they evolve. Promoting a culture of continuous service improvement has also become a matter of optimizing non-aeronautical revenue performance, as we have learned from a study undertaken last year.

ACI will hold a celebration of the winners of the 2016 ASQ Awards at the 27th ACI Africa/World Annual General Assembly, Conference & Exhibition in Port Louis, Mauritius, 16–18 October 2017. The official ceremony will be Tuesday 17 October where the world’s airports will proudly recognize the outstanding accomplishments of the best. 



Angela Gittens, Director General, Airports Council International (ACI), will be continuing her exclusive column in Via Dubai’s forthcoming issues.

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