Security innovations at Manchester Airport have helped it win the title of best in Europe. It beat competition from hundreds of others to pick up the title at the ACI Europe Best Airport Awards in Milan. Judges praised airport management for ‘passion for excellence’ and innovative approach to security.
Over the past year, the airport has introduced a raft of security improvements, including the installation of controversial full-body scanners. The £80,000 device produces ‘naked’ outline images of passengers’ bodies to detect hidden weapons and explosives but some campaigners have likened the process to a ‘virtual strip search’.
The technology was piloted at Manchester – four months before scanners were made compulsory by the government. Other security innovations at Manchester include ‘smart gates’ – glass booths which act as powerful metal detectors, and a new generation of high-speed baggage scanners will be introduced this summer.
Manchester was named best airport in the ‘10-25 million passenger’ category, making it the only British airport to win an award. It was selected for its ability to ‘add real substance’ to everything it undertakes, with particular mention of its approach to security.
Manchester Airport boss Geoff Muirhead CBE, group chief executive, said: “We’re delighted that Manchester was named best airport by ACI, particularly because the judges recognised the investment and effort that has gone into improving customer service standards. We want to be one of the world’s best airports and providing high quality customer service is at the heart of our strategy to achieve this goal.
“This award, which is judged by our peers from European airports, is a real tribute to the hard work of everyone at Manchester Airport and they should feel proud of this achievement.”
The judging panel was drawn from a respected group of experts, including the European Commission, the European Disability Forum and air traffic management chiefs from Eurocontrol. They said this year’s competition saw a high level of entries from more than 400 airports in 46 European countries.
The awards aim to celebrate achievement in customer service, retail, security and environmental awareness. Other winners on the night included Barcelona, Lyon and Malta airports.
Source: Manchester Evening News