The consumer-aviation website Skytrax has published its latest annual World Airport Awards, and for the fifth consecutive year, Singapore Changi International Airport took home the crown as the world’s best airport. The facility is one of Southeast Asia’s largest transit hubs and is a major cog in the city-state’s bustling economy.
“Winning the Skytrax World’s Best Airport Award for the fifth consecutive year is an immense encouragement to our 50,000-strong airport community at Changi Airport, every one of whom is passionate about delivering the most memorable airport experience to our passengers,” Changi Airport Group CEO Lee Seow Hiang said in a statement. “This recognition affirms our service belief which we have held steadfast all these years – putting passengers at the heart of all we do.”
The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of nearly 14 million flyers from 105 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.
Here’s a closer look at the other airports that made it to the top of the prestigious Skytrax list:
15. Copenhagen Airport (CPH)
Yearly passengers: 26.6 million
Previous rank: 18
Why it’s awesome: Copenhagen is one of the busiest hubs in Northern Europe and is a major base of operations for Scandinavian Airlines and Norwegian Air Shuttle.
Skytrax reviewers lauded the airport for its clearly placed signs and the efficient, though sometimes crowded, facilities.
14. Tokyo Narita International Airport (NRT)
Yearly passengers: 39.1 million
Previous rank: 11
Why it’s awesome: Narita is the first of the two Tokyo airports to appear on the list. Located 35 miles outside of Japanese capital, Narita handles the majority of the international traffic going in and out of the city. The airport serves as a major hub for ANA, Japan Airlines, Delta, and United.
Skytrax reviewers lauded the airport for its efficient and friendly staff, clean facilities, and abundant dining options.
13. Vancouver International Airport (YVR)
Yearly passengers: 22.3 million
Previous rank: 14
Why it’s great: Vancouver takes home the prize as the top ranked airport in North America for the eight year in a row, and for good reason. Customer reviewers on Skytrax cited YVR’s friendly staff, high level of organization, and easy access to downtown Vancouver as some of the best things about the airport.
Vancouver International also boasts a floatplane terminal, as well as a sizable collection of art from the Pacific Northwest.
12. Kansai International Airport (KIX)
Yearly passengers: 25.2 million
Previous rank: 9
Why it’s awesome: Located on an artificial island in the Osaka Bay, Kansai International is a major hub for ANA and Japan Airlines.
Reviewers on Skytrax praised Kansai for its modern architecture, spotless facilities, and helpful staff. The airport also boasts a Sky View observation deck that affords passengers spectacular views of incoming and outgoing flights.
11. Amsterdam Schiphol Airport (AMS)
Yearly passengers: 58.3 million
Previous rank: 13
Why it’s awesome: Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport is one of the busiest airports in Europe and serves as a hub for KLM, Transavia, and Delta.
Opened in 1916, Schiphol is noted for its wide variety of leisure activities and has a library in which fliers can cozy up with a good book while waiting for their flights.
10. Frankfurt Airport (FRA)
Yearly passengers: 61.0 million
Previous rank: 12
Why it’s awesome: Frankfurt Airport is the fourth-busiest airport in Europe and one of the most important transit hubs in the world. FRA is home base to Lufthansa’s fleet of more than 270 jets.
Skytrax reviewers praised the airport for the ease of transit between terminals and the abundant shopping and dining options. Some, however, have complained of the lengthy immigration lines.
9. London Heathrow Airport (LHR)
Yearly passengers: 75.0 million
Previous rank: 8
Why it’s awesome: Heathrow is the world’s third-busiest airport and the largest of the five primary airports serving London.
Heathrow is in the midst of a major renovation with the addition of a brand new Terminal 2 building. It’s eight-year-old Terminal 5 building was named the best airport terminal in the world by Skytrax.
Heathrow serves as the main hub for British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
8. Zurich Airport (ZRH)
Yearly passengers: 27.7 million
Previous rank: 7
Why it’s awesome: Just eight miles from the heart of Zurich, the airport serves as the home for Swiss International Air Lines and as a hub linking Switzerland’s largest city with the rest of the country.
For passengers with an extended layover, Zurich Airport offers bicycle and inline-skate rentals and excursions to the Swiss Museum of Transport Lucerne.
7. Central Japan International Airport (NGO)
Yearly passengers: 9.8 million
Previous rank: 6
Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island in the middle of Ise Bay near the city of Nagoya, Central Japan International – also known as Centrair – serves as a focus city for Japan Airlines and ANA.
Centrair holds the distinction as the best regional airport in the world.
It has a 1,000-foot-long sky deck where passengers can watch ships sail into Nagoya Port. There’s also a traditional Japanese bathhouse where you can have a relaxing soak while watching the sunset over the bay.
6. Doha Hamad International Airport (DOH)
Yearly passengers: 30 million
Previous rank: 10
Why it’s awesome: Hamad International opened for business in 2014 and is now home to Qatar Airways.
The airport and its two terminals sit on 5,400 acres of land and cost $16 billion to construct. Skytrax describes the facility as the “the most architecturally significant terminal complex in the world, as well as being the most luxurious.”
5. Hong Kong International Airport (HKG)
Yearly passengers: 68.3 million
Previous rank: 5
Why it’s awesome: Built on an artificial island off the coast of Hong Kong, HKG has become one of the most popular facilities in the world since it opened in 1998.
One of the busiest airports in Asia, Hong Kong International serves as the home to Cathay Pacific, Hong Kong Airlines, and Dragonair.
Be sure to play around at the SkyCity Nine Eagles golf course near Terminal 2.
4. Munich Airport (MUC)
Yearly passengers: 42.3 million
Previous rank: 3
Why it’s awesome: Located northeast of downtown Munich, MUC is one of the busiest airports in Europe and the second-busiest in Germany, after Frankfurt.
Munich serves as a major hub for Air Berlin, Lufthansa, and Condor and it features airy glass-heavy architecture. A nearby visitors park features minigolf and a display of historic aircraft.
3. Incheon International Airport (ICN)
Yearly passengers: 49.3 million
Previous rank: 2
Why it’s awesome: This year, Incheon maintains its place as once of the world’s elite airports with a third place finish. Located on an island just outside of the South Korean capital, Incheon is home base to Korean Air and is the 24th-busiest airport in the world. It opened in 2001.
Incheon’s highly regarded facilities feature an array of shopping and dining options, in addition to a bevy of cultural performances. The airport even has a Korean culture museum.
2. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (HND)
Yearly passengers: 75.6 million
Previous rank: 4
Why it’s awesome: Haneda is one of two major international airports that serve the Tokyo area. Located a few miles away from the heart of the Japanese capital, Haneda has proved to be a popular port of entry for business travelers and tourists.
The world’s fifth-busiest airport, Haneda is known for its service efficiency, cleanliness, and shopping.
1. Singapore Changi International Airport (SIN)
Yearly passengers: 55.4 million
Previous rank: 1
Why it’s awesome: For the fifth year in a row, Changi takes the crown as the world’s best airport. Changi serves as home to Singapore Airlines, Silkair, and Tigerair and is the 16th busiest airport in the world.
The Singaporean airport has received praise from flyers for its beautiful architecture, efficient operation, luxurious amenities, and its broad offering of dining and shopping options.
Flyers passing through are treated to movie theaters, a multimedia entertainment deck, spas, and a wild corkscrew slide.