DFW Airport Awarded Airport of the Year

By Sheena Pelsy | DFW Newsflash | January 2019

After achieving numerous milestones last year, DFW Airport is starting off 2019 by being named Airport of the Year by Air Transport World (ATW), the leading publication for the global airline industry. 

Late Thursday morning, Jan. 17, hundreds of DFW Airport employees gathered in front of the airport headquarters for the unveiling of the new title.

“It’s truly an honor to be recognized as Air Transport World’s Global Airport of the Year, and it’s a credit to the nearly 2,000 employees of DFW Airport, who continually go above and beyond to take care of customers, address the needs of stakeholders, and engage with our surrounding communities,” said Sean Donohue, CEO of DFW Airport. “DFW is experiencing the fastest growth in more than a decade, and we see it as an opportunity to welcome the world to the Dallas Fort Worth region and advance the innovation and collaboration that deliver for our customers and make our communities stronger.”

“The analogy I would use is that in the airline industry the ATW award is essentially like winning an Oscar. For DFW airport, to be ATW 2019 Global Airport of the Year is a big deal. I’ve been here for about 5 years, and I’ve never been so proud to be a part of the DFW team.”

The honor recognizes DFW’s innovation in providing a world-class customer experience, global leadership in sustainability, cost effective and efficient operations, excellent partnership with airlines, and collaboration with local communities to further develop the economic benefits of aviation in the Dallas-Fort Worth region.

“It isn’t that we have an airport here, it is that we have a world-class airport here,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said. “The recognition of DFW as Airport of the Year demonstrates how the Airport and our region can achieve success on a global scale. The Airport Board of Directors and the DFW team laid out a strategic plan several years ago, planning for the future, and they have delivered their vision for transforming travel.” 

After celebrating its 45th anniversary on Sunday, the airport is finally being recognized as a global airport. In 2019, DFW anticipates an average of nearly 1,900 flights per day and serving nearly 200,000 customers per day traveling to and from domestic and international destinations.

“This honor is yet another major acknowledgment that DFW Airport is a growth engine for Dallas and all of our regional partners,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said. “I may be biased, but I think this is the best international airport in the United States, and we have seen in recent years that the world is taking notice. Businesses are moving to Dallas-Fort Worth at an astonishing rate, and most of them acknowledge the number of destinations and non-stop flights from DFW as a key part of their decision.”

In 2018, the airport achieved numerous milestones including 28 added destinations, completing a $2 billion renovation and renewal of three legacy terminals. The airport holds the title for largest carbon neutral airport in the world and the only one in the United States.

“I’ve had the opportunity to see firsthand the dedication, the hard work, and the passion that goes into running this airport and goes into making the success that it is,” said William Meadows, DFW Airport Board Chair. “I’m just glad everybody else is recognizing it.”

The airport is experiencing the fastest growth in more than a decade, which is not only good news for the airport itself, but also the cities around it.

“Dallas Fort Worth International Airport truly stood out for its innovation, operational excellence and focus on serving its customers—passengers and airlines,” said Karen Walker, editor-in-chief, ATW. “DFW has invested in infrastructure and technology to improve its facilities, efficiencies and sustainability, all the time continuing its operations as a global mega-hub. DFW richly deserves to be recognized as the 2019 ATW Airport of the Year.” 

Air Transport World has been giving out awards for over 45 years now, but to be selected takes time.

“We actually submitted our application almost two years ago to go through this very robust process,” Donohue said.

DFW joins an exclusive list of global gateway airports that have previously won Airport of the Year, including Hong Kong, London Heathrow, and Singapore-Changi.

DFW Airport will officially receive their award on March 26 at the ATW’s Annual Airline Industry Achievement Awards gala in New York City.