ACI Customer Excellence Global Summit

Airport delegates from all over the world will touch down in Halifax for the Airports Council International (ACI) inaugural Customer Excellence Global Summit.

The event, held from September 10 to 13, will be hosted by the Halifax International Airport Authority, and will feature the Airport Service Quality Awards Ceremony.

“Our decision to hold the first Summit in Halifax, Nova Scotia reflects its position as one of Canada’s Atlantic gateways and is also in recognition of Halifax Stanfield International, a proud ACI award-winning airport,” said Dimitri Coll, Associate Director, ASQ, Airports Council International (ACI) World, in a statement to Spotlight on Business.

“Canada is a successful trading and a leading transportation nation and our decision to partner with Halifax Airport was consistent with the theme of the event: “delivering the best experience” and we are sincerely grateful to Halifax International Airport Authority for hosting the inaugural summit.”

HSIA was rated by passengers as one of the best airports in the world last year, and it was tied for third-place for the 2017 Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards for Best Airport by Region.

Joyce Carter, Halifax International Airport Authority (HIAA) president and CEO, said preparing for the event “has been an evolving thing.”

“It’s like running a marathon and you’re getting close to the end. It’s pretty exciting, and it’s a great thing for Halifax,” she said.

“It’s very humbling that they came to us. They reached out to us personally … It was such an honour.”

She said the two organizations have worked closely since 2002, and she’s pleased with the 30 awards they’ve won through ASQ since 2006.

“When we look at our long-standing involvement and the work we do in customer service, I can see now why we were asked. Our ACI customer satisfaction numbers are as good as any airport in North America,” she said.

“Other delegates tell me they emulate our program. They always ask when they can see this airport and beautiful place.”

Carter says being able to offer the Halifax Convention Centre as a facility to hold the event gave way to opportunity.

“When this was proposed, we had to secure the space, and the centre has been great to work with. We can’t wait for this to happen,” she said.

“To date, there are 368 airports in the program and 358 delegates coming, from over 140 airports. There will be a huge international presence.”

Carter says employees at the airport are taught customer service virtues of excellence using The Stanfield Way.

1,127 airport employees have graduated from The Stanfield Workshop. Of those, 251 airport employees have taken The Stanfield Way Refresher Training.

“We offer the training to all airport workers, and teach them to be happy, helpful, courteous, caring and kind. We developed it in 2012 as our foundation for customer excellence,” she said.

“This forum is about excellence, and we’re going to show the delegates our customer service and professionalism standards from every touchpoint. They’re as excited as we are to have this in North America for the first time.”

By Jordan Parker