SHANNON has been named the best little airport in the world by Sunday Times readers, joining hubs in Singapore, Amsterdam and London in being honoured.
The Sunday Times travel magazine is one of the English-speaking world's most influential and is read by seasoned and affluent travellers.
Readers are invited to nominate airports around the world and Shannon has been selected as the magazine's "Little Hero" for 2010.
The edition went on sale across the UK and Ireland last week and, based on readers comments, the convenience of US pre-clearance facilities for transatlantic passengers may have swung the award in Shannon's favour.
British Airways this year commenced a deluxe service between London City Airport and New York JFK where passengers clear US immigration and customs at Shannon as the plane refuels.
Michael Williamson, Sheffield, commented: "It's an international airport, but small and friendly. If you're travelling to America, you pass through US Customs before you board. A bonus given the hassle stateside."
The newly-appointed director of Shannon Airport, Mary Considine, said the award was "something we are very proud of".
"Since its foundation, Shannon Airport has had a very prominent place in international aviation and this award shows that our stock is still incredibly high amongst the most discerning international travellers.
"Based on the commendation given, we have no doubt that our US pre-clearance services had a big influence in Shannon being selected for the Little Hero award. Being the first airport in the world outside of North America with this level of pre-clearance facilities was a major coup for us and clearly this is being recognised by travellers who have used the service," Ms Considine stated.
Shannon Airport Authority chairman Brian O'Connell has also welcomed the news.
"The UK is our number one international market and the Sunday Times travel magazine is one of the most widely read and respected publications among international travellers.
"The award noted that Shannon is a friendly airport and also focused on the huge benefits of using US pre-clearance at Shannon. Building on both of these core strengths is a key goal for Shannon over the next few years," he said.
Singapore's Changi was named by Sunday Times readers as their favourite airport, followed by Schipol and Heathrow's Terminal Five.