The airport is the first thing you see whenever you visit any country. They say that the first impression is usually the last one. Hence, most of the countries in the world take great pains to ensure that their airports offer the best services to its visitors / guests. This passenger-friendliness is one of the important criteria in deciding the best airport in the world.
Skytrax, an international air transport rating organization, conducts researches and surveys from international travellers to rate the world’s best airports on an annual basis. Singapore Airport has won this award for the last 5 years consecutively. Many factors go into the award making decision. They include passenger amenities, volume of business, air traffic, cleanliness, and many others.
Singapore’s Changi Airport tops the list in almost all the categories, especially the passenger amenities aspect. Indian airports make their entry at the 60th position. Delhi Airport holds the distinction of being the highest ranked Indian airport at 60 followed by Mumbai at 64, Bengaluru at 67, and Hyderabad at 69. These are the only four Indian airports to rank in the top 100 of the World’s Best Airports 2017 list.
Why is Singapore Airport better than 90% of Indian airports?
This is the topic of discussion. In fact, one can say that Singapore Airport is better than all the airports in the world, leave alone Indian airports. Changi Airport has topped the list for the last 5 years. What makes this airport so special? Let us look at these aspects and see why Singapore Airport is the best.
- Singapore Airport handled 62.2 million international passengers in 2017. That is more than 10 times the population of this small country. Is it not a phenomenal figure that 10 times the population of a country transits the airport in one year? It might not rank as the busiest in the world in this category. However, it does rank No 1 if you consider the traffic in comparison to the overall population of the country. Compare it with the Indian airports. Delhi and Mumbai airports handled 15.5 and 12.44 million international passengers in 2017. Of course, Indian airports cater to a huge number of domestic travellers. Still, it does not match up to the levels of Singapore Airport.
- Singapore Airport has 4 main passenger terminals and a privately-run luxury terminal. This airport handles more than 7200 flights on a weekly basis. This amounts to around 1 flight per 80 seconds. This figure makes it the 6th busiest airport in the world.
- Singapore Airport might not be the largest in the world in terms of area. However, its 4 terminals are capable of handling 85 million passengers. The top Indian airports can handle 25 to 40 million passengers.
- Singapore Airport is also one of the busiest cargo handling airports in the world. This airport handles 2.125 million tonnes of cargo in 2017.
- As far as passenger amenities are concerned, Singapore Airport should rank at the top of the heap. The airport authorities treat every passenger, irrespective of the class he or she travels in with utmost equality. Can India say the same about its treatment to passengers? The VIP culture is the main reason for the preferential treatment given to a particular class of passengers in India. This is virtually absent in Singapore.
- Singapore Airport has some of the best immigration facilities in the world. The staffs managing the immigration counters follow the rules, but do so with a sense of humanity. They understand the genuine problems of the travellers and do their best to solve them to the best of their ability. In this aspect, Singapore Airport is streets ahead of the rest of the world.
- Aesthetically, Singapore Airport is one of the most beautiful airports in the world. There are plans to improve the structure further by constructing facilities to take care of the carbon emission. Hence, this airport is among the best as far as environmental friendliness is concerned.
- Efficiency wise, Singapore Airport is the best in the world. Any passenger can walk out of the airport after completing all formalities including immigration checks, luggage claim, washroom visits, and so on within 30 minutes of landing from the plane. Compare this with other huge airports like JFK or Heathrow and you will understand why Singapore Airport is like Heaven.
- Convenience wise, no other airport in the world can touch Singapore Airport for the sheer provision of passenger-friendly amenities. In spite of the large volume of people passing through Singapore Airport every day, there is ample space for passengers to stretch their feet.
We have just seen some factors that prove that Singapore Airport is the best in the world. It can comfortably overcome Indian airports in every aspect of air travel. No wonder, this airport has won the World’s Best Airport award 5 times in succession and 8 times since the inception of the awards in 1999.