Dubai: The Abu Dhabi International Airport received the golden award for Fast Travel from International Air Transport Association (IATA), becoming the first airport in the region to adopt IATA's latest initiative in response to growing passenger demands for more adequate and speedy travel procedures at airports.

The award was handed over by Tony Tyler, CEO IATA, to James E. Bennett, CEO of ADAC, with the attendance of various dignitaries from both organisations.

Fast Travel is a new program initiated by IATA geared at reducing airline costs and enhancing passenger experiences by offering a range of self-service options throughout the travel journey.

According to the 2009 IATA Corporate Air Travel Survey (CATS) conducted on worldwide passengers, 50 per cent of the passengers said they would prefer more self-service options to speed up their journey rather than queuing for check-in.

The IATA Fast Travel program will help airports provide passengers with self-service options in six main areas: Check-in, luggage drop-off (bags to-go), document checking, flight re-booking, self-boarding, and bag recovery.

IATA targeted five airport and airline pairs to implement the full Fast Travel set of initiatives as an IATA objective for 2011. Abu Dhabi International Airport offered to be one of the first 5 airports, with Etihad Airways as its pair, in the world to achieve the Fast Travel initiatives and successfully completed it within the deadline.

ADAC implemented all six initiatives set by IATA; self-check-in, self boarding gate, document check (through CUSS or Mobile reader), flight re-booking kiosk, bags ready to go (bag tag printed at the kiosk), and bag recovery kiosk, delivered through ADAC's common user self service kiosks.