The Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has won the 2011 Best African Airport of the Year Award at the Routes Africa 2011 Conference in Bamako, Mali.
The coveted award was presented to the Managing Director of KIA, Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko in Bamako on July 5, when KIA emerged the winner following a competitive screening process by a panel of global airport experts.
The final shortlist included, alongside the winning airport, Entebbe Airport in Uganda, Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, Kenya, and Sikuphe International Airport in Swaziland.
A citation preceding the presentation of the award commended the KIA for distinguishing itself in service delivery, development of new routes and attracting four major airlines from the United States and Europe to Ghana in 2011 alone.
A press release issued by the GACL in Accra on Monday said Routes in the citation also described “the astute leadership exhibited by the management of GACL , the KIA’s adherence to global best practices in safety and security as well as continuous improvements in handling facilities and development of its human capital as ‘unmatched by any other airport in Africa’”.
Mrs Owusu-Fianko, receiving the award, said it was the KIA’s vision to be the hub and gateway for the West Africa sub-region in spite of being a small airport, adding that the airport had always
prided itself in being customer friendly and was happy to have welcomed three different US Presidents to the airport.
She said in line with the agenda of “making Ghana the gateway to Africa”, management of GACL had plans to attract more global airlines to Ghana. “We want to develop as a hub and our geographical location means we are positioned to be able to offer links to every continent in the world.”
Mrs Owusu-Fianko noted that the company was working to establish links with South Africa and the Caribbean in the next two years since they were the only missing network links. She revealed that they would soon have regular links to Barcelona with Spanair and Doha with Qatar Airways after TAP Portugal’s recent inauguration of flights to Lisbon.
She also paid glowing tribute to the Board, Management and Staff of GACL, saying their teamwork and combined tireless efforts in delivering excellence had earned them the global recognition. “We feel so proud to win this prestigious award,” Mrs Owusu-Fianko stated. KIA would now go forward with other winners from the regional Routes events to compete for the overall Airport Marketing Award title which would be announced at the World Routes event in Berlin, Germany, in October.
The awards are the highest industry honours of excellence conferred on airports that have distinguished themselves in infrastructure development, adoption of modern airport technology,
adherence to safety and security standards, new routes and human capital development as well as good service delivery.
The KIA works on the core principles that the people who are best placed to judge an airport’s marketing activities are its primary users: the airlines.
The primary criteria after nomination include submission of details about their route development activities and results, which would then be considered and scored based on certain parameters,
including innovative ways of marketing to airlines, evidence of relationship with airlines, effectiveness and creative application.
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