Vancouver International Airport has been named the best airport in North America after a UK-based research company surveyed 9.8 million airline passengers worldwide.

The airport also placed 11th on Skytrax's top 25 worldwide airport rankings. It was one of only two North American airports to make the list, the second being San Francisco's airport in 20th place.

Passengers got to nominate an airport for the best airport award and rate the experience in 39 different categories.

Some of the categories included questions about airport staff, such as attitude and language skills, and accessibility, such as public transportation options, taxi availability and prices, and disabled persons access.

Skytrax conducted the World Airport Survey and polled passengers through in-person interviews, telephone interviews, and online questionnaires from July 2009 - March 2010.

Anne Murray, vice president of YVR's Community and Environmental Affairs, told that YVR has worked hard to ensure these areas are well developed.

She said the airport has a strong focus on customer care and service, and is designed for accessibility, both in architecture and in being connected to the Canada Line.

The airport is also well designed for disabled persons and includes wheelchair-friendly floors, curbside ramps, Braille throughout for the visually impaired, and volume-controllable handsets at check-in counters for the hearing-impaired.

"We have been putting in a huge amount of work," she said.

YVR has placed in the top three for the World Airport Awards' Best North American Airports category for the past three years, placing second in 2008 and third in 2009.

The World's Best Airport Award went to Singapore Changi Airport, which also won the awards for Best Airport Leisure Amenities and Best Asian Airport.