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Ross Aviation (ANC), has been designated a gateway fixed-base operator (FBO) at Ted Stevens Anchorage Airport in the US. This new status means flights departing from the Alaska hub can fly directly to Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (KDCA) in Washington DC.

The Transport Security Administration (TSA) requires that all flights to or from Washington be screened by TSA security screeners. Only ‘gateway airports’ are equipped to accommodate this process.

Acknowledging how Ross Aviation’s primary focus has always been on delivering exceptional standards. Laura Charon, general manager at Ross Aviation said, “this new designation is a testament to the dedication of our team.

“We are pleased to offer our ANC guests the convenience of flying directly from Anchorage to DCA along with continued incomparable service while they are in our care.”

Open 24 hours, seven days a week, the FBO offers a full line-up of professional services and amenities including a pilot lounge, passenger lobby and VIP lounge. It also features a heated hangar, immigration clearance, ramp-side vehicle access and is capable of handling all general aviation aircraft.

The Airports Council International (ACI) has announced the latest addition to its Airport Quality Service programme.

The ACI ASQ Commercial Survey has been designed to help airports of all sizes boost the passenger experience by providing insights into commercial performance. It also helps airports to optimise ancillary revenues including retail and food and beverage.

Angela Gittens, ACI World’s director general, described ACI’s ASQ programme as the “only truly world-renowned and globally established benchmarking programme measuring passengers’ satisfaction while they are travelling through an airport.

She also said that this latest survey “reflects the growing competition among airports” and the “importance of passenger experience as a key business driver.”

Data for the commercial survey is collected from departing passengers in gate areas while their experiences are still fresh in their minds.

Once analysed this data provides valuable insights into: Why passengers choose to spend or not in commercial areas; which passenger groups use retail, food and beverage and other commercial services the most; what airports should do to improve the commercial services experience for passengers; and what they can do to improve commercial revenues.

When its combined with the organisation’s departures and arrivals surveys it provides a powerful, holistic view of every touch point through the pasengers’ journey.

Crucially, it also helps airports “make important commercial decisions regardless of their current retail offerings, size, location and passenger make-up,” concluded Gittens.

Congratulations to all those who were declared Airports Council International (ACI) Europe’s Best Airport Award winners.

The winners were announced during a gala dinner for the 28th ACI World/ Europe annual general assembly. The reception was hosted by Brussels Airport and was held at the impressive Atomium in the Belgian capital, on Tuesday 19 June.

The awards aim to recognise achievement in core activities such as customer service, facilities, retail, security, community relations and environmental awareness. The judging panel was drawn from a group of independent experts including the European Commission, Eurocontrol, European Civil Aviation Conference (ECAC) and European Travel Commission.

In the under 5 million passenger category, Tallinn Airport was awarded Best Airport for its ambitious large-scale expansion and reconstruction of its airside area with minimum operational disruptions. The new state-of-the-are pre-flight security screening checkpoint, as well as the airport’s close cooperation with stakeholders such as the Estonian tourist board, were also highlighted as key factors in the judge’s decision.

Torino Airport in Italy was highly commended in this category.

In the 5-10 million passenger category, Bristol Airport in the UK and Seville Airport in Spain were declared joint winners. Bristol’s environmental strategy towards carbon neutrality, as well as its continued investment in infrastructure, staff training and increased public transport links all contributed to the airport being given the award.

Meanwhile Seville distinguished itself with its active policy to promote its connectivity and for its “Connecting Seville to the World” project. The airport was also chosen by the judges for its improvements in security and its communication strategy at a local, national and international level.

Hamburg Airport in Germany was awarded the Best Airport Award in the 10-25 million passenger category, for its innovative additional services to increase the passenger experience and its commitment to the environment.

Prague Airport in the Czech Republic was highly commended in this category.

For the over 25 million passenger category, Barcelona El Prat was highly commended, While Rome Fiumicino Airport was declared the overall winner. The Italian airport won praise for its small terminal re-design and focus on developing new markets and routes.

Other awards that were given included the Eco-innovation award – Amsterdam Schiphol Airport; the Accessible Airport Award – Pafos International Airport; the Human Resources Excellence Award – Lene BeierSimonsen Holling, HR Development Director at Copenhagen Airport; and the World Business Partner Recognition Award – Oxera Consulting LLP.

Plans are well underway for the conversion of Tashkent’s Vostochny airport in Uzbekistan from a military and cargo hub to an airport serving the business aviation community.

Expected to become a centre for innovation in Central Asia, the revamped airport will be dedicated to private and corporate jets. To improve operations the runway is being extended and widened. In addition, a new terminal building will be dedicated to government officials and foreign delegations, while another will be used for business passengers flying in general aviation aircraft.

The first phase of the project, which is due for completion in 2020, will feature the upgraded runway, aprons and taxiways, the new terminals, a modern hangar, fire-safety depot, dispatch centre and a restaurant. A hotel complex is also in the pipeline.

Expressing his support for the redevelopment of the airport, Uzbekistan’s president, Shavkat Mirziyoyev, told the Tashkent Times: “Business Aviation provides efficient, productive and secure business travel to accommodate schedules and reach destinations not compatible with the limitations set by commercial airline itineraries.”