Doha’s Hamad International Airport has been named the world’s best airport on Skytrax’s annual ranking, snatching the top position from Singapore’s Changi Airport. Skytrax said in a statement that the world airport awards for 2021 recognise the efforts in adapting and meeting the challenges thrown by the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Skytrack, an airline consulting group, fastidiously surveys and quizzes travelers around the globe about more than 500 plane ports of entry. They ask about efficiency: How long did it take to get your bags? How easy was it to get a taxi—or take public transportation? How long were the lines at immigration? They determine functionality: Did the airport have good WiFi? Were the departure screens easy to read? Were the boarding calls clear and easy to understand? They inquire about amenities: Were there good restaurants and bars? Quality stores to shop at? What about the lounges? Then they ask about, well, a bunch more—including plenty of questions about social distancing protocols and cleanliness in this pandemic age. These are some of the procedures for selecting best airport in the world.
And now, they’ve officially crowned a winner for 2021: Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar. Doha’s ascension on the list of the world’s best airports comes days after an aviation safety and product rating agency named Qatar Airways the world’s best carrier. AirlineRatings.com had applauded Qatar Airways for its “dedication and commitment to continue to operate” throughout the pandemic.
The airport, built on reclaimed land is situated amidst a spectacular man-made lagoon, well-manicured gardens and a natural bay. The airport is about a third of the size of Doha, with a 600,000 square metre and four-stories-high Passenger Terminal Complex, which equates to 75 soccer fields. Presently, the airport has the capacity to handle 8,700 passengers per hour, more than 30 million passengers a year, and is undergoing further expansion to accommodate more than 50 million passengers. HIA has two parallel runways, among the longest in the world, designed to cater to next-generation aircrafts including the Airbus A380.
Here is the list of World’s Top 10 Airports of 2021
- Hamad International Airport
- Tokyo Haneda Airport
- Singapore Changi Airport
- Incheon International Airport
- Narita International Airport
- Munich Airport
- Zurich Airport
- London Heathrow Airport
- Kansai International Airport
- Hong Kong International Airport
While Changi Airport lost its position to HIA, it took awards for the world’s best airport staff and the best airport staff in Asia. It was also named the world’s best airport in the 10 to 15 million passenger category. Guangzhou Baiyun Airport was named the world’s best airport in the 35 to 45 million passenger category.
Turkey’s Istanbul Airport, which moved from 102nd place in 2020 to 17th place in 2021, was named the world’s most improved airport. Tokyo Haneda Airport, which is ranked number 2 in the world, has been named the world’s cleanest airport.
Some international airports, including Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport, won the special 2021 Covid-19 Airport Excellence Awards for properly enforcing Covid-19 guidelines, including face mask usage, visibility and availability of hand sanitiser, social distancing, hygiene procedures at security, social distancing at security/immigration, terminal cleanliness and washroom cleanliness.