Airport captures top prize again

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For the second year in a row the Bermuda International Airport has been recognised as the best in the North American region for overall passenger satisfaction.

The award, given by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), was based on surveys of passengers at airports with less than 15 million passengers annually.


For the second year in a row the Bermuda International Airport has been recognised as the best in the North American region for overall passenger satisfaction.

The award, given by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), was based on surveys of passengers at airports with less than 15 million passengers annually.

Bermuda's airport also won fourth place worldwide for overall passenger satisfaction, Transport Minister Ewart Brown announced in the House of Assembly yesterday.

"We are especially proud of our airport staff for the unprecedented accomplishment of winning first place for two consecutive years," the Minister said.

"This certainly proves, Mr. Speaker, that last year's award was no one-time fluke. Despite stiff competition from many well-run airports elsewhere, Bermuda International Airport scored especially high in the rankings of `courtesy, helpfulness of Airport staff', `security inspections' and `waiting time at check-in'".

Airport General Manager James Howes, who will be receiving the award on behalf of the Ministry, will be giving a speech on "how to aim for excellence at a smaller airport" at IATA's annual conference next month.

"I would be remiss if I did not remind Honourable Members that a commitment to excellence is our mantra within the Ministry of Transport," he continued.

"We measure our standards and results by what the clients tell us." He said the award and the fact that 90 percent of ferry commuters had given high ratings for service and facilities meant that the Ministry must be "doing something right".

At a press conference later, Dr. Brown said that the Ministry was considering how to recognise the airport staff for their achievement.

Last year the Ministry spent $35,000 on an "Airport Appreciation Day" as a tribute to the 1,000 odd staff members at the airport. The move was met with considerable criticism from the Opposition United Bermuda Party (UBP).

But Mr. Howes defended the party held last July 24 saying the staffers had achieved a tremendous achievement and that motivating employees was about more than just a paycheque.

"Think of it, among some 700 commercial airports in the world, thousands of international travellers picked Bermuda Airport's staff as the best in the world for courtesy and helpfulness," he said then.

Last month The Royal Gazette reported that Minister was still working on waiting times at the Airport.

At that time, in response to comments made by the Shadow Tourism Minister David Dodwell, he said: "He is correct - it is an annoying problem. It is a cross-ministerial problem, because it is both customs and tourism.

"It is offensive to our tourists, so we are working on it. There are eight on nine issues and we are going to solve it.

"One of many factors is how the officers connect with each passenger during data collection."

However, Dr. Brown did agree with Mr. Dodwell on the point of waiting times at the Bermuda International Airport.

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