Kotoka International Airport (KIA) has been adjudged the Best Regional Airport in the Africa Region at the World Routes Awards 2011 in Berlin, Germany.
The award received by Mrs Doreen Owusu-Fianko, Managing Director of Ghana Airports Company Limited (GACL) was formally presented at the Berlin Networking Event which took place at the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport Willy Brandt, due to open in nine months.
KIA became an automatic contestant for the Routes World Event after it won the award for Best Airport in Africa at the Regional Routes Event last July.
However, KIA contested with various airports from Africa for the award instead of those it contested with for the regional award.
The airports contesting for the world routes award for the Africa Region included; KIA, Bamako Senou International, Cairo International and Sharm El-Shiekh International Airports, from which Ghana emerged winner and Bamako highly commended.
Mrs Owusu-Fianko speaking to Ghana News Agency in Accra on arrival last night from Berlin said the award meant more challenges for GACL.
She said management will have to ensure that systems put in place at the airport work, ensure on-time departures for airlines as well as improve facilitation for both airlines and passengers.
Mrs Owusu-Fianko stated that KIA has won the award based on its development of routes and innovation and its responsiveness to airlines’ needs.
“We get involved in our plans, our visions and ideas from them. They have a hand in whatever we do. We work as a team,” she said.
Asked what KIA has over the other airports in the category, Mrs Owusu-Fianko said KIA has good relations with the airlines operating in the country, and added that the terminal is being expanded to accommodate more airlines.
Mrs Owusu-Fianko said they will work with the Export Promotion Council to promote cargo business as well as with other stakeholders to improve the tourism sector in Ghana.
She expressed hope that Ghana might be able to win the Best Destination marketing campaign by a tourism authority, a new category in the routes world awards and won this year by Malta Tourism Authority.
Other winners in the awards were Los Angeles World Airport for the Americas, Abu-Dhabi Airports Company for Asia and Budapest Airport for Europe Region.
Air Asia won the award for best network performance by an airline while Kenya Airways won the Orbis Social Responsibility Award for its “Change Makes Change” Programme in which customers and staff raised funds to alleviate famine in northern Kenya.