Skytrax’s 2013 rankings put Singapore Changi Airport at the top of the world. Incheon International Airport, last year’s No. 1, dropped to No. 2.
Not surprisingly, there were no American airports in the Top 10. In fact, there were none in the Top 20. America’s top ranked airport was Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Intl Airport, which came in at #30:
American airports are generally fairly awful, so their poor performance in this survey is no great surprise. But it is also worth a response. Airports are gateways to cities and regions, and it’s striking that the infrastructure of the world’s lone superpower lags so far behind that of the rest of the world. The mood in Washington right now is one of austerity, so any near-term improvements to the country’s airports will have to come from state or local authorities—or, ideally, from the private sector. But some of the worst problems can only be solved with federal help. Lengthy delays have a lot to do with America’s outdated air-traffic control system, which Washington is trying to fix, but which cannot be upgraded without lots of money. And the lack of good transport links at some of the most important airports (here’s looking at you, LaGuardia) is probably only rectifiable with federal money.