Airports Council International has honoured Alicante-Elche Airport with one of its prestigious Airport Service Quality awards. The award is for “Best Hygiene Measures by Region” in 2020, and follows ACI recognition for Alicante-Elche in 2018 and 2019 as the best airport in Europe for quality service.
Five other Spanish airports were also recognised for their hygiene measures: Federico García Lorca Granada-Jaén, Menorca, Seve Ballesteros-Santander, Pamplona and Internacional Región de Murcia (Corvera).
All measures implemented in the Aena network in Spain are framed within an Operational Recovery Plan which, since April 2020, has applied recommendations by the European Union Aviation Safety Agency and European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control.
The ASQ awards highlight the world’s best airports as judged by their customers. Announcing the 2020 winners, the ACI said, “The COVID-19 pandemic had a dramatic impact on global passenger traffic in 2020, as well as changing customer perceptions and expectations of the airport experience. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, airports managed to collect ASQ surveys from their customers throughout the year.
“Based on new hygiene-related questions added to the survey questionnaire, ACI has introduced a new award – ‘Best Hygiene Measures by Region’ – of which there are 33 inaugural winners. This award provided airports with a reliable method of gauging customer response to new health measures and recognises airports’ success in responding to the intense focus on hygiene.”
Special measures implemented at Alicante-Elche Airport over the past 12 months include sanitary controls, reinforcement of cleaning and sanitation, reorganisation of passenger flows and limitation of terminal access, as well as increased signage marking safety distances and reminding airport users of the mandatory use of masks throughout the terminal.
Specifically, Alicante-Elche Airport placed more than 4,400 safety distance markers and over 1,300 sealing tapes to mark the separation between seats; distributed 300 hydroalcoholic gel dispensers throughout the terminal and more than 180 “contactless” taps and soap dishes in the toilets; and installed 275 protective screens at customer service counters – among other initiatives.
Welcoming the award, Alicante-Elche Airport director Laura Navarro said, “I believe it was an excellent move to include a section of questions in the ASQ surveys about COVID-19 measures, as 2020 was a very complicated year for airport managers and we need to know what our passengers think of the measures we are taking. This award encourages us to continue on this path and to improve day by day.”
Commitment to Environmental Stewardship
Alicante-Elche is also one of the Spanish airports benefiting from Aena’s involvement with the Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP), which has once again awarded the Spanish airport operator a place on its “A List” for climate change. Aena is one of only 10 Spanish companies to have achieved the highest ranking, which recognises its drive to meet decarbonisation and environmental stewardship commitments, and combat climate change.
Over the past few months Aena has reviewed the targets in its Climate Change Strategy, which will be included in the company’s Climate Action Plan. It is the first Spanish company and one of the first in the world to submit this plan for approval at its own shareholders’ meeting
According to Aena, its goal in this area is “to bring forward its carbon neutrality programme to 2026 and for all its airports to be carbon-neutral as part of a global network programme”. Its Photovoltaic Plan, already underway, is aimed at enabling the company to achieve 100 per cent self-supply of electricity from renewable sources at its airports by 2026. “All of this is an intermediate step towards attaining net zero carbon emissions in all airports in the network by 2040.”