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Six of the best: Most improved airports

ACI reveals the world's most improved airports, by region, in 2010.
Guess which airport was the Middle East's most improved in 2010?
Guess which airport was the Middle East's most improved in 2010?
A South African Airways A330-200 lands in Cape Town (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images).
A South African Airways A330-200 lands in Cape Town (Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images).
The final touches are applied to Hongqiao's Terminal 2 ahead of its opening last year (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images).
The final touches are applied to Hongqiao's Terminal 2 ahead of its opening last year (Philippe Lopez/AFP/Getty Images).
Ryanair is one of Bournemouth's biggest airline customers (AFP/Getty).
Ryanair is one of Bournemouth's biggest airline customers (AFP/Getty).
Dubai was the Middle East's most improved airport.
Dubai was the Middle East's most improved airport.
An A380 sits on the tarmac at Vancouver International Airport (Don MacKinnon/AFP/Getty Images).
An A380 sits on the tarmac at Vancouver International Airport (Don MacKinnon/AFP/Getty Images).
An ER-2 plane sits at Juan Santamaria International Airport (Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images).
An ER-2 plane sits at Juan Santamaria International Airport (Mayela Lopez/AFP/Getty Images).

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Airports Council International (ACI) has announced the winners of its annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards for 2010.

Awards are given in a number of categories, including best airports overall and best airports by size.

Here, we take a look, by geographical region, at which airports improved the most in 2010.

The results are based on more than 300,000 passenger surveys completed at participating airports.

According to ACI, the survey gives a picture of the entire passenger experience, from the moment of arrival at the airport to the departure gate.

Read below to discover which airports improved the most in 2010.

Africa: Cape Town (CPT)
African’s fourth busiest airport (based on passenger numbers) was its most improved in 2010.

This, according to ACI, is due in no small measure to South Africa’s hosting of the football World Cup. ACI noted that three of the six winners in the most improved category were host cities of big international events.

“Each of these airports and their staff were very proud to be a host airport and that pride was evident in the experience they provided the passenger,” explained ASQ programme director, Craig Bradbrook.

The airport was revamped ahead of the world Cup, with the addition of a central terminal building to link the separate domestic and international terminals.

Asia Pacific: Shanghai Hongqiao (SHA)
Another city hosting a big event, the 2010 World Expo, was home to Asia’s most improved airport in 2010. Though overshadowed slilghtly by the newer Shanghai Pudong, Shanghai Hongqiao still handled more than 25 million passengers in 2009.

The airport received a significant boost in early 2010, when Terminal 2 opened. The new terminal is much larger than the previous one and significantly increases capacity at the airport.

Europe: Bournemouth (BOH)
Bournemouth Airport is located 6.5 km from the southern English coastal city of Bournemouth. Ryanair and Thomson Airways are the main users of the airport, flying to holiday destinations across Europe and the Mediterranean.

The airport handled just 367,828 million passengers in the first half of 2010, but it has ambitious development plans. Under a £45 million programme, the runway has been resurfaced, the apron expanded and a new departures terminal has been built. A new arrivals area is due to open in summer 2011.

Middle East: Dubai (DXB)
The most improved Middle Eastern airport in 2010 was Dubai, which was also named the world’s third best large airport. Dubai International handled 47 million passengers last year and remains one of the world’s fastest growing passenger airports.

The airport has three terminal buildings. T3 is a recently-built terminal dedicated exclusively to Emirates Airline, Terminal 2 is used by state-owned low-cost carrier Flydubai and Terminal 1 is now used by all other carriers.

North America: Vancouver (YVR)
North America’s most improved airport in 2010 was Vancouver. Like Shangahi and Cape Town, the city was host last year to a major event: the Winter Olympic Games.

Vancouver International has three terminals: the domestic and international, which are two parts of one large building, and the south terminal, which serves a few regional airlines. The international terminal has US pre-clearance status, which gives departing passengers domestic status when they land in the US.

The airport’s interior look is distinctive. The extensive use of glass allows in natural light, there are numerous water features and installations of indigenous art are widespread throughout the buildings.

Latin America-Caribbean: San Jose (SJO)
Juan Santamaria International Airport is the main international airport in the Central American state of Costa Rica. It serves around 3.5 million passengers annually.

Expansion work has taken place in recent years and is ongoing. The addition of more immigration and security desks recently has helped to improve passenger throughput.

The airport is named after a Costa Rican national hero. Departing passengers must pay a US $26 tax.

RELATED SPECIAL REPORTS: Best airports in the world: ACI survey; Top 10: Worst airports based on passenger feedback

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