For any traveller, efficiency is the biggest requirement when taking off or arriving at an airport. With a continent as vast and as populated as Asia, choosing five of the best airports may be a bit of a difficult task. To make things easier, Explocity lists out the best airports in Asia.
Some airports, such as the airport in Kuala Lumpur, had earned a favourable reputation some years ago, as well as the airport in Tokyo. But today, both these airports have lost a bit of their status and sheen, for various reasons. Overcrowding, inability to cope with weather issues and the lack of state-of-the-art air traffic control instrumentation.
In a recent survey done by London-based Skytrax, there were five Asian airports (part of a list of the world’s top ten best airports as rated by air travellers) and these included Singapore’s Changi Airport, South Korea’s Incheon International Airport, Beijing’s Capital International Airport, Hong Kong’s International Airport and a pleasant surprise for our readers in India, Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Besides visual appeal and passenger-friendly amenities, these airports service millions of passengers each year while maintaining the highest levels of service, security, parking facilities, hotel amenities, restaurants, resting areas, child-friendly areas and of course, cleanliness. Some airports go above and beyond, like Hong Kong’s International Airport that even has a golf course!
Each week, more than 6,600 flights land or depart from Changi, with more than 50 million passengers passing through the airport a year. We believe that the facts and figures speak for themselves.
Known for its shopping and boasting 40,000 square metres of commercial space, anyone with a longish layover has plenty to eat, drink, see, do and buy. There is also a fitness centre, a swimming pool, the tallest slide in an airport and nature trail at this airport.
Passengers stopping at this airport should not forget to check out the golf course, spa, sleeping rooms, the casino, gardens, ice-skating rink and museum.
With so much to do, one might hope for a really long layover.
Hong Kong is not just content to sit on its laurels; it plans to add another 20 gates over the coming decade.
Anyone having a layover at the Hong Kong airport can also play golf or visit several high-end shops that dot the airport.
Indira Gandhi International, Delhi: This airport now boasts of an annual passenger capacity of over 60 million, including the state of the art Terminal 3, which can handle 34 million passengers. 35 million passengers passed through Indira Gandhi International Airport in 2011, including 10 million international passengers (both records in Indian aviation). The airport also handled over 600,000 tonnes of cargo and over 300,000 aircraft movements in 2011 CY.
The Shower and Massage Lounge offers superb surroundings for passengers to freshen up and energise themselves. You may take a refreshing shower, enjoy the rejuvenating spa treatments, and have a bite at the refreshment counter.
Capital International Airport, Beijing: Beijing Capital has rapidly ascended the rankings to become one of the world’s busiest airports over the past decade. It had become the busiest airport in Asia in terms of passenger traffic and total traffic movements by 2009.
A 98.3 metre monitoring tower stands at the southern end of Terminal 3, the highest building at the airport. The roof of T3 is worth mentioning. It is red, the Chinese colour for good luck. The terminal’s ceilings use white strips for decoration and to indicate directions. Under the white strips, the basic colour of the ceiling is orange with light to dark tones indicating where a passenger is inside the building.
As of 2012, Beijing Capital International Airport is the second busiest airport in the world, and the busiest in Asia, jetting 78 million people a year through its doors. It ranks 2 for its immigration service.