18 November 2020
By Mary Bermingham
Cork Airport was highly commended in this year’s ACI Europe Best Airport Award in the ‘under 5 million passenger’ category at the 30th ACI Europe Annual Assembly and Congress which was a virtual event live-streamed from the Skyhall at Brussels Airport this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The theme of this year’s event was Resetting the Airport Business: Post Tenebras Lux – Light after Darkness.
The ACI Europe Awards recognise excellence and outstanding achievement across a whole range of activities. They cover 5 traffic categories of airport, including the brand-new ‘over 40 million passengers’ category.
This year’s judging panel for the ACI EUROPE Best Airport Awards was made of distinguished experts from the European Commission, EUROCONTROL, SESAR Joint Undertaking, the European Travel Commission (ETC) and Flight Global.
This year’s award in the ‘under 5 million passengers’ category went to Torino Airport for its swift response to the COVID-19 pandemic through the implementation of health and safety protocols in collaboration with local authorities to maintain operational continuity.
Cork Airport was highly commended in this category for its flexible response to COVID-19 in terms of People, Processes and Premises. The fast receipt of the international ACI Health Accreditation, on-site COVID testing, the strategy being formulated for the airport’s recovery, including extensive engagement with stakeholders and the Government around supports were acknowledged by the judges.
Niall MacCarthy, Managing Director, Cork Airport said, “Today’s highly commended industry recognition from our European industry body is somewhat poignant in the current climate but very welcome.”
“As I’ve said before, we have a long journey to travel back as we regrow our network and become an engine of growth for the South of Ireland economy once again. We are already working on our recovery plans with the strong support of daa so that we can move to rebuild our networks as soon as possible next year and reconnect Cork with the world, when it is safe to do so and when the demand is in place.”
“We plan that the new network from Cork is not just the same as the old but, over a few years, that it is even bigger and better than the pre-COVID network, including East Coast USA connectivity, working in collaboration with stakeholders and Government. This acknowledgement today is a vote of confidence in our airport team and our region as we start on the journey of aviation recovery in 2021,” he added.
In 2017, and again in 2019 Cork Airport was named the overall winner in its class by ACI Europe serving under 5 million passengers.