ACE Awards 2019: Top airports, carriers chosen for Air Cargo Excellence


After taking a backseat to Seoul Incheon (ICN) and hanging back in the pack for the last few years, Shanghai Pudong (PVG) has climbed back to score 113 overall points and win its first ACE Diamond Award in recent memory, for the Large Airport category (1 million tonnes and above; see Top Airports List). The win represents a rags-to-riches 22-point differential from the previous ACE survey. In fact, this is the first time the large Chinese hub has been recognized since its 2016 Certificate win.

Perennial favorite Hong Kong (HKG) repeated its Platinum win with 108 points, while last year’s big winner, Singapore (SIN) settled for a Gold Award with a still-impressive 108 points (ACE points are rounded; HKG barely edged out SIN by a fraction, 108.31 to 107.98).

SIN, which won a Diamond Award last year, is growing its physical infrastructure while also investing in improving the productivity of its current facilities. Lim Ching Kiat, Changi Airport Group’s managing director for air hub development, told our sister publication, Air Cargo Airports (ACA), that the Changi East Industrial Zone (CEIZ), is part of the Changi East development project, scheduled to open in the 2030s.

In the Medium-sized Airports (400,000 to 999,999 tonnes) Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson (ATL) was also a mild surprise at 104 points to secure the Diamond Award, while Luxembourg (LUX) notched its first-ever Platinum Award after edging out Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO) in the with 101-point tie-breaker (101.43 for LUX, 100.79 for SVO). Moscow, however, was consoled with a well-earned, and first-ever, Gold Award.

Among the Small Airport category (up to 399,999 tonnes), Quito’s Mariscal Sucre International Airport (UIO) repeated as the Diamond Award winner with and ACE-high-water-mark of 119 overall points, dominating the field by a 16-point margin for the category. Alisson Larrea, manager, corporate affairs and marketing at UIO, told ACA that “we pride ourselves in being experts in getting our cargo in the required conditions and provisions on the freighters quickly and efficiently,” especially during Valentine’s Day, Russian Women’s Day and Mother’s Day, as more than 90 percent of UIO’s exports are flowers.

Fellow Ecuadorian contenders Guayaquil (GYE) rose in the rankings from Gold for 2018 to take home the Platinum Award in 2019, despite a fall of three points overall. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) tied GYE in overall points at 103, but lost to in a squeaker (102.52 to 102.61 points, to be exact) to take the Gold Award. Sadly no other airport in the Small category scored enough to earn a Certificate.

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