Airports Council International (ACI) gave Cleveland Hopkins International Airport the 2017 Airport Service Quality Award (ASQ) as the most improved airport in North America — the first time the airport has won any type of ASQ award.

The awards recognize the world’s top airports for customer experience. Worldwide, 16 airports were first-time ASQ winners, reflecting increased competition among airports, according to ACI.

Cleveland is set to welcome new flights from Keflavik airport in May, operated by Icelandic carrier Wow Air.

The airport trade association also lauded year-over-year improvements at Nairobi, Kenya’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (Africa), Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport in Ahemabad, India (Asia-Pacific), Franjo Tuđman Airport in Zagreb, Croatia (Europe), Tancredo Neves/Confins International Airport in Belo Horizonte, Brazil (Latin America-Caribbean), and Dubai International Airport (Middle East).

Indianapolis International Airport and Jacksonville International Airport were named the ASQ winners as the best large (more than two million passengers annually) airports in North America. Among airports with fewer passengers, Portland, Maine’s Portland International Jetport won top honours.

Other North American airports receiving ASQ awards included Ottawa, Tampa, Minneapolis, and Toronto Pearson.

The best airports in the world, by region, also included Casablanca, Morocco (Africa), Delhi and Mumbai, India (Asia-Pacific), Sochi, Russia (Europe), Abu Dhabi, UAE (Middle East), and Guayaquil, Ecuador (Latin America-Caribbean).

Aiports Council International says that ASQ is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel.

The programme measures passengers’ views of 34 key performance indicators, with 74 per cent of the world’s top 100 busiest airports being part of the ASQ network, delivering 600,000 individual surveys per year in 42 languages in 84 countries. The programme covered a total of 343 airports in 2017.