The 16th ACI EUROPE Awards 2020

The ACI EUROPE Awards recognise excellence and achievement across a whole range of disciplines including the Best Airport Awards (in size category), the HR Excellence Award, the Eco-Innovation Award and the Accessible Airport Award in association with the European Disability Forum. In addition, we are launching a brand new awards category - the Digital Transformation Award, an initiative of SESAR Joint Undertaking, in collaboration with ACI EUROPE.

Due to the postponement of the ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly & Congress and the current situation we have reimagined the awards and have updated criteria with a COVID-19 focus for the Best Airport Award and the HR Award. Please see the individual criteria documents attached to each category below for further details.

The award entries will be assessed by a panel of expert judges and key institutional stakeholders. Winners will be announced in front of an audience of Chief Executives and industry leaders as part of the proceedings of the Gala Dinner, taking place at the 30th ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly & Congress 2020 in Geneva.

The closing date for entries is Thursday 3 September 2020.

Submit your entry to

The Best Airport Awards

This year we are switching the focus of our Best Airport Awards, to reflect and recognise the many ways in which airports are not only surviving, but have innovated and inspired during the COVID-19 crisis.

ACI EUROPE Best Airport 2019 Winners - 5 categories based on passenger numbers:

Under 5 Million Passengers

5-10 Million Passengers

10-25 Million Passengers

25-40 Million Passengers

Over 40 Million Passengers

Best Airport, Under 5 Million Passengers

  • 2018 Tallinn Airport
  • 2017 Cork Airport
  • 2016 Keflavik International Airport
  • 2015 London City Airport

Best Airport, 10-25 Million Passengers

  • 2018 Hamburg Airport
  • 2017 Alicante-Elche Airport
  • 2016 Brussels Airport
  • 2015 Malpensa Airport Terminal 1

Best Airport, 5-10 Million Passengers

  • 2018 Sevilla Airport & Bristol Airport
  • 2017 Naples International Airport
  • 2016 Glasgow Airport
  • 2015 Cologne Bonn Airport

Best Airport, Over 25 Million Passengers

  • 2018 Rome Fiumicino Airport
  • 2017 Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport
  • 2016 London Heathrow Airport
  • 2015 London Heathrow Airport


The Eco-Innovation Award

The 11th ACI EUROPE Eco-Innovation Award, in association with Airport Carbon Accreditation, will be presented to the airport that has demonstrated outstanding environmental performance and an innovative approach to environmental management. Your airport will select and apply for ONE of the following environmental disciplines:

  • Climate Change
  • Local Air Quality
  • Water & Water Waste Management

2019 Eco-Innovation Award Winners

Menorca Airport

  • 2018 Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
  • 2017 Munich Airport
  • 2016 Oslo Airport
  • 2015 London Heathrow Airport
  • 2014 Oslo Airport

The HR Excellence Award

The HR Excellence Award was created in 2017. The ACI EUROPE Leadership and Human Resources Forum, wishes to recognise a HR department who have demonstrated excellent leadership and human resources management among the ACI EUROPE Regular Members during the COVID-19 crisis.

Previous HR Excellence Award Winners

2019 HR Excellence Award Winner

HR Excellence Awarded to Natasa Iacovides, Senior HR Manager, Hermes Airports and Eleni Kaloyirou, CEO Hermes Airports

2018 HR Excellence Award Winner

HR Excellence Awarded to Lene Beier-Simonsen Holling, HR Director, Copenhagen Airport

2017 HR Excellence Award Winner

HR Excellence Awarded to Paula Stannett, HR Director, Heathrow Airport

The Accessible Airport Award

The Accessible Airport Award in association with the European Disability Forum will return again this year. This award is the perfect opportunity to showcase your airport’s good practice examples and get recognition for the work that has already been done, while encouraging other airports to do the same.

Airports are a crucial part of the travel chain for all passengers, including passengers with disabilities. The level of accessibility of the airport as well as the range and the quality of the assistance services offered make a huge difference to the travel experience, both for experienced and inexperienced travellers.

2019 Accessible Airport Award Winner

The ACI EUROPE Accessible Airport Award was presented to Russell Guthrie, Senior Media Campaigns Manager, Gatwick Airport, by Christakis Nicolaides, President of the Cyprus Confederation of Organisations of the Disabled, on behalf of the European Disability Forum.

Digital Transformation Award – Brand new for 2020!

The Digital Transformation Award, an initiative of SESAR Joint Undertaking in collaboration with ACI EUROPE, will recognise a European airport that has embraced digitalisation, adopting innovative technologies and procedures to improve the safety, capacity, efficiency and environmental footprint of its airside operations in the following areas:

  • Automation and autonomy
  • Air/ground integration
  • Virtualisation
  • Connectivity
  • Data sharing
  • Entries must not exceed 1,000 words (excludes appendices).
  • Each entry may include a maximum of 10 appendices to support the submission.
  • Entries made after the deadline (Thursday 3 September 2020) will not be accepted. For questions regarding this deadline please contact
  • Each entry (per airport, per category) is subject to a €500 administration fee. All fees must be received by the afore mentioned deadline for entries to be accepted.
  • Airports may make multiple submissions to different categories where appropriate.
  • It is the entrant’s responsibility to ensure their entry meets the criteria outlined in the relevant category.
  • Please note the rules and requirements for the Eco-Innovation Award are unique and should be carefully considered in line with Airport Carbon Accreditation.

The information below is designed to assist with producing a successfully shortlisted entry. Ensure your submission also meets the rules and requirements set out above.


Previous entrants have provided photos, statistics and graphs/charts to strengthen their submissions. Stand out applications also incorporated more creative evidence such as press releases, marketing campaigns, awards won, testimonials and letters of endorsement from government officials. These do not count towards the word count (1,000); however, do ensure these materials add value to your entry and you do not exceed 10 supporting documents, as we may ask you to revise your entry.

Appendices are supporting evidence and should be relevant to the main body of your entry. Any appendices too large to share via email can be shared as a zip file using secure transfer sites such as

Meeting the Criteria

The criteria documents provided give a strong guide as to what the judges may be looking for from entries. You do not have to address each point individually but should focus on the relevant areas where your airport has made significant achievements.

Clear Communication

  • Provide a brief insight into your airport’s current position.
  • Make your entry concise and easy to digest.
  • Focus on key points in a structured and interesting narrative.
  • Keep it factual and avoid unsupported claims. Facts and figures will strengthen your entry.
  • Ensure the entry is visually neat and appealing.
  • Have your entry proofed and any links or videos tested prior to submission.

Submitting Your Entry

  • Leave plenty of time to complete your entry to ensure it is of the highest quality and allow extra time to account for content being signed-off in your department.
  • Have a lead contact on the entry; this person will coordinate materials, make the submission, and be contactable for all matters in the lead-up to the Awards Ceremony.
  • Ensure you have the appropriate permissions to share the information provided in your submission.
  • Ensure the format of your submission is easy to read. PowerPoint and PDF text documents are preferable.
  • The ACI EUROPE Awards are split into 8 categories, so be mindful of using the correct entry form to avoid confusion during the judging process.

Why Enter the ACI EUROPE Awards?

The ACI EUROPE Awards recognise excellence and achievement across a whole range of disciplines relating to airport operations. Successful entrants, will be recognised for their outstanding achievements in front of Chief Executives and industry leaders as part of the Gala Dinner proceedings at the 30th ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly and Congress in Geneva, Switzerland.

Participate in the highly regarded ACI EUROPE Awards to:

  • Showcase your achievements
  • Generate excellent PR opportunities
  • Attract new business partnerships
  • Receive validation for your team’s hard work

How to Enter

  1. Ensure you have thoroughly reviewed the criteria documents for the category you wish to enter.
  2. Once it is confirmed which category you will enter, download and complete the appropriate entry form and submit to You do not need to provide your full submission with your entry form, but the administration fee must be paid immediately.
  3. Consider our Entry Tips to produce the most impressive submission.
  4. Ensure you have met all Rules and Requirements.
  5. Provide your full submission no later than Thursday 3 September 2020.
  6. Register your team to attend the ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly and Congress, 20-22 October 2020 in Geneva, Switzerland. Winners will be announced as part of the proceedings at the Gala Dinner on Wednesday 21 October.


Register to attend the 30th ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly & Congress

Hosted by - Genève Aéroport 20-22 October 2020

View the agenda Register now

Previous ACI EUROPE Annual Congresses

Transform or die – Airports & the Sustainability challenge

The 29th ACI EUROPE Annual Assembly & Congress, hosted by Hermes Airports, took place in Limassol on 25-27 June 2019...
Read the full report

Airports as Brands and Businesses

28th ACI EUROPE/World General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, Brussels, 18-20 June 2018...
Read the full report

Airport Leadership in Change

27th ACI EUROPE General Assembly, Congress & Exhibition, Paris, 12-14 June...
Read the full report


I have really enjoyed this year’s ACI EUROPE Annual Congress. It has been good to learn about current issues in our industry, including the aims of airport investors and the latest projects. I feel the right issues are being addressed in the conference sessions.

Limak Kosovo Prishtina International Airport Adem Jashari

Haldun Firat Köktürk, Board Member and CEO, Limak Kosovo Prishtina International Airport Adem Jashari

It has been a very good conference, with interesting sessions. I have really enjoyed the event. The networking and social opportunities are also excellent.

Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport

Elena Mayoral Corcuera, Airport Director, Adolfo Suárez Madrid Barajas Airport

here has been a useful mixture of panel discussions and presentations, and a good level of interaction with the audience. The presentation by Brussels Airport CEO Arnaud Feist was absolutely fantastic. I have found the event very busy, and have enjoyed the networking opportunities, including the fabulous Welcome Reception and Gala Dinner.

Moody’s Investors Service

Andrew Blease, Associate Managing Director Infrastructure Finance, Moody’s Investors Service

We are very happy with how the event has gone for us. It has been a good event and very busy. As an exhibitor, we have found the size of the exhibition to be perfect. The conference sessions I attended were very interesting, and the networking and social aspects have been very good. The ACI EUROPE Annual Congress is a well-respected event and is very good for us.


Jordi Floreta, VP and Commercial Director, ADELTE

The conference sessions have all been very different and interesting. The presentation from the Brussels Airport CEO was very personal and showed how critical leadership is. I liked the format of the panel sessions, which encouraged good, open debate.

Ontario Airports Investments

Luke Bugeja, Asset Director, Ontario Airports Investments

The conference has effectively condensed the macro trends of the industry, which is very valuable. It is my first time attending the ACI EUROPE Annual Congress. I have been impressed by the level of interaction and the opportunities for discussion and consideration of the most important issues affecting our industry.

Bern Airport

Dr Mathias Gantenbein, Managing Director, Bern Airport

It is my first time attending the ACI EUROPE Annual Congress and it has been a very positive experience. We are here to make new contacts and it has been really good.


Felicia Constandopoulos, Deputy Head of Marketing & Sales, Concretum