Punta Cana International Airport was named the best medium-sized airport in Latin America and the Caribbean by the ACI Airport Awards. The impressive achievement is a testament to the hard work carried out by Dominican authorities in improving the passenger experience at the airport, which is currently undergoing a massive renovation.
This is the sixth consecutive year that Punta Cana International Airport wins the award for the best medium-sized airport in the region. The airport also won the award for the best hygiene policies in Latin America and the Caribbean, an important recognition in light of the airport’s excellent handling of the COVID pandemic.
Airports Council International, the organization that oversees and hands out the prestigious annual awards, ranks airports based on their commitment to improving the passenger experience at airports across the globe. With some 400 participating airports in 90 countries, the awards are a big name in the travel industry and a huge achievement for Punta Cana’s well-performing airport.
The awards are based on a multitude of factors, ranging from passenger satisfaction to departures and arrivals timeliness. For the past two years, the airport has also been awarded for its health and hygiene protocols. In contrast to other countries, the Dominican Republic largely kept its doors open for visitors, whilst ensuring the use of face masks and sanitization methods.
With international travel once again booming, Punta Cana Airport is working on a massive overhaul of its existing facilities. Inaugurated in 1983, Punta Cana’s airport is the first privately-run commercial airport in the world, handling some 8 million passengers per year. It is also the busiest and best-connected in the country.
The whopping $80 million renovation of its main terminal will help the airport to accommodate ever-growing passenger numbers. The overhaul is already well underway and is largely expected to be complete in November. When finalized, the renovation will add 7 new boarding bridges, effectively allowing the airport to welcome more and larger aircraft, and expand international routes to the tropical destination.
Terminal B will see more floor space added as part of the renovation program, and authorities are also working on implementing the U.S Migrations and Customs Preclearance program. A definitive decision is expected later in the year, and officials say it’s likely the government will give it the green light. If approved, traveling to the U.S will be faster and more efficient than ever before, helping consolidate the Dominican Republic’s position as a leading destination for American tourists.
Punta Cana Airport is currently the best-connected airport on the Caribbean island, with non-stop flights to 64 cities across 26 countries. With fall fast approaching, several airlines have announced new flights to the destination, including Frontier and Swoop. The new flights are expected to help the country reach a new yearly record for tourist arrivals, with more than 7 million visitors expected to set foot in the country by the end of the year.
In addition to the current makeover, Punta Cana has actively improved the passenger experience at the busy airport, helping speed up arrivals and departures. Recently, the airport upgraded its screening technology with the cutting-edge ORION® 928DX X-ray machine. With 60% of all inbound tourists in the Dominican Republic transiting through Punta Cana Airport, the move is expected to speed up formalities whilst ensuring strict security.
The airport has also enhanced other security measures by adding new specialized k-9 units to fight organized crime and terrorism, further boosting the airport’s safety. With drug trafficking numbers on the rise in recent months, Punta Cana airport has seen significant drug seizures, including last week, when over 50 kilograms of cocaine were found concealed in two suitcases headed to Europe.
Plan Your Next Dominican Republic Vacation:
Traveler Alert: Don’t Forget Travel Insurance For Your Next Trip!
Choose From Thousands of Dominican Republic Hotels, Resorts and Hostels with Free Cancellation On Most Properties
↓ Join the community ↓
Subscribe to our Latest Posts
Enter your email address to subscribe to Dominican Republic Sun’s latest breaking news affecting travelers, straight to your inbox.