Istanbul Airport was deemed worthy of the "Europe's Best Airport" and "Accessible Airport" awards at the "17th ACI Europe Awards" organized by the Airports Council International (ACI). The measures taken by Istanbul Airport for the pandemic that inspired the industry, the steps it took for accessibility, and its efforts to contribute to sustainability were appreciated.
As one of the best airports in the world, Istanbul Airport has been awarded consecutive awards by reputable institutions, with the proactive measures taken during the period when the whole world was going through a major test with the Covid-19 pandemic, being the largest airport in Europe in terms of passengers, and its institutional resilience, which it proved by continuing its investments without slowing down. won two more of the most prestigious awards in the industry.
Within the scope of the “17th ACI Europe Awards”, the Airports Council International (ACI) awarded Istanbul Airport the “Best Airport in Europe” and “Accessible Airport” awards in the category of over 40 million passengers.
This year's benchmarks: Endurance and Inspiration
ACI, which also started the "Net Zero 2050" movement with the aim of taking action and decarbonizing airports against the climate problem in the past period, added "Resilience and Inspiration" to its standard award criteria this year to select "Europe's Best Airport", and added "Resilience and Inspiration" in its evaluations. 19 announced that it focuses on improvements and inspiring work in the field of sustainability. Establishing its business model on durability in the new order, Istanbul Airport has distinguished itself by operating decision-making mechanisms in a way that minimizes the margin of error thanks to its agility.
While the aviation sector was one of the sectors where the negative effects were felt the most in the Covid-19 pandemic, which the world gave a huge test, Istanbul Airport gained appreciation for successfully managing the crisis process and ensuring that transportation and trade continue at the optimum level possible.
Success in accessibility has also been registered
Istanbul Airport was also entitled to receive the "Accessible Airport" award of the International Airports Council, with the culture of accessibility and barrier-free airport concept it has created since the design stage. It drew attention with its different services such as Private passenger service points, video call center, Sesli Steps, adult changing rooms, which it created both on the land and air sides of the terminal. Istanbul Airport, which meets all accessibility standards with its priority crossing points, Accessible Elevator and Vehicle Parking Points, Accessible Route, Very Special Guest Card and Sunflower Name Badge projects, is an example in the sector with the special services it offers beyond the standards and with the awareness it creates, adopting the principle of everyone's right to travel. was also appreciated.
The awards were presented to Kadri Samsunlu, CEO of İGA Airport Operations, with a ceremony held on October 26 as part of the ACI Europe Annual Congress & General Assembly held in Geneva, Switzerland.
İGA CEO Kadri Samsunlu Elected to ACI Europe Board of Directors
At the ACI Europe annual general assembly, Samsunlu was elected as a member of the Board of Directors within the scope of the quota reserved for the 10 largest airports in Europe. Samsunlu, who is the first and only board member from Turkey among 10 airports, stated that they took firm steps forward without deviating from their sustainability goals during the epidemic period. Stating that they are planning net zero emissions in all operations until 2050, Samsunlu said, During his duty; He stated that strengthening ACI's relationship with the Turkish aviation industry at all levels and easing travel restrictions are among its primary goals.
“We undersigned pioneering works, we built trust”
In his speech at the award ceremony, İGA Airport Operations CEO Kadri Samsunlu drew attention to the measures they took during the pandemic process that steered the sector. Samsunlu: “When the pandemic started, we were an airport that had the capacity to serve 200 thousand passengers a day in its first year, and continued on its way rapidly. At a time when flights could not be made and only cargo flights and evacuation operations continued, we did not say "what should we do, these are the conditions"; We did not stand still. We sought ways to welcome our passengers in a healthier and safer way, and to provide a safe working environment for our employees. We have carried out pioneering work to restore people's old flying habits and built trust. In the upcoming period, we aim to expand our "Accessible Route" service scope, to continue our airport experience studies with different disability groups, to excel in our services and to lead the spread of the applications we have implemented for a more accessible world. We are proud to receive the “Europe's Best Airport” and “Accessible Airport” awards and to share this justified pride with our entire team. While the awards strengthen our motivation, they will contribute to the realization of many inspiring works for the sector.”
ACI Europe Director-General Olivier Jankovec congratulated Istanbul Airport on its achievements and said, “During this extraordinarily challenging period in our industry, Istanbul Airport has demonstrated a tremendous strength of endurance by focusing on investments and infrastructure works. The fact that they won not only one but two awards, both the Best Airport Award and the Accessible Airport Award, is a testament to their long-term goals for their businesses and communities, while maintaining the outstanding attention they show to their passengers. I am delighted to be able to witness their celebration of their double success. I look forward to seeing what this innovative and exciting airport will do in the future.” made statements.