ABCs of Runway Safety

Did you know that a 4th runway is being built in Incheon Airport? Not only will it be possible to reduce congestion and manage flights more systematically, but airplanes will also be able to take off and land more safely.

Incheon Airport is making a lot of effort into management in addition to the new runway construction. One of the most important jobs of Incheon Airport is helping airplanes take off and land safely on the runway. This post takes a look at how Incheon Airport manages its runways so that it can function properly

Runway Management #1: Automated FOD Detection System

Why is it important for airports to regularly inspect their runways? Because runways are the most important facilities of airdomes. On regular reads, small foreign objects do not interfere with the operation of the vehicles, but it may cause a fatal accident on airport runways!

Foreign object debris (FOD) includes not only concrete fragments and metals, but also pieces coming off of paved runways and other foreign matter generated during operation. In particular, airplane engines rotate at extreme speed with incredible force, and there may be serious accident or damage if small pieces of concrete or other FOD are sucked into the engines. Thus, it is important to pay close attention and be safe than sorry.

Incheon Airport regularly inspects for any FOD and facility damage. So far, visual inspections have been conducted to check for FOD, but studies are being conducted to identify FOD more thoroughly. In particular, the Airport Industry Technology Research Institute is currently developing an automated FOD detection system that can automatically detect FOD up to 2 cm in size on runways. It will be fully deployed starting from 2021, and it will surely help manage runways more safely.

Runway Management #2: Measuring Surface Friction

For good take-off and landing, it is important to skid on runways to an acceptable extent.

To do so, Incheon Airport is measuring runway surface friction. Friction is measured by an airport surface friction tester (ASFT) as in the photo below.

Since their landing distance may decrease if airplanes slip during landing, it is important to measure and maintain friction regularly. During winter, runway friction is measured after snow removal, and such information is provided to relevant authorities.

The runway friction coefficient is recorded on a graph connected to the ASFT. This information enables a safe flights operation! If a runway is slippery too much or less, rubber sediments on paved runway surfaces are removed in addition to maintenance.

Runway Management #3: Smart Paving

To manage runways better, their foundation must be robust. Did you know that safety-enhancing techniques are applied to runway construction?

Incheon Airport introduced the smart echelon paving method in constructing its 4th runway. This technique was introduced for the first time during the construction of the 3rd runway.

The center part of runways (24 m) can become week easily as an airplane’s load concentrates on it. The technique paves this part of the runway without any cold joints.

It can improve runway paving quality and minimize FOD caused by runway damage. This method is sure to further enhance safety and runway capacity.

We have so far looked at how Incheon Airport manages its runways. As airplane safety is related to passenger safety, Incheon Airport will keep taking care of runways more thoroughly!

Pocket WiFi Rentals at Incheon Airport

Aside from your passport, flight ticket and luggage, what is the most important thing to bring with you when you travel overseas? Surely, you must not forget your mobile phone! It’s essential for navigating, making hotel reservations, looking up restaurants and enjoying your trip without an itinerary. The only condition is, you need Internet connection!

You will find South Korea has a solid IT infrastructure with public WiFi connectivity, but if you have to use the Internet on the move, you may need something called “pocket WiFi.”

What is Pocket WiFi?

“Pocket WiFi” is a portable Internet router small and light enough to carry in your pocket.

With just a single router, several people can connect to the Internet. It supports various devices, providing Internet access to mobile phones as well as tablets and PCs. Portable and convenient, pocket WiFi has become a must-have item for many tourists. You can rent one at an affordable price depending on how many days you use it. On average, you can use 2GB LTE data for just KRW 3,000.

Did you know that you can conveniently rent a pocket WiFi at an affordable price at Incheon Airport? Here are two pocket WiFi brands you can find at the airport.

Pocket WiFi Rental Services

The first brand that introduced pocket WiFi to Incheon Airport is WiFi Dosirak! WiFi Dosirak boasts fast data speeds and connects up to five people via a single router. It is portable and convenient as the size is similar to that of a mobile phone. It relatively affordable as well. For just KRW 3,000 per day, you can use 3GB LTE data. Remember that when you used up your daily data, you can only use the Internet at lower speeds!

The second brand that entered Incheon Airport is “PLAY WiFi.” Its motto is “Let’s Play with WiFi,” providing travelers with convenience and joy.

PLAY WiFi also boasts a small size with fast data connection speeds, and connects up to 10 people via a single router. For just KRW 2,700 per day, you can use 2GB LTE data. The same service conditions apply for PLAY WiFi; when you’ve used up your daily data, you can only use the Internet at lower speeds.

Use Pocket WiFi This Way!

Let’s find out how to use pocket WiFi!

Step 1. Make an online reservation

Visit the website of either one of the WiFi brands. Click on “Reservation” and enter your immigration details. You can also select the location for pick-up! Be sure to remember the location because you can only pick up your pocket WiFi at your selected pick-up desk!

If you use WiFi Dosirak, you will have to pay when making your reservation, and if you use PLAY WiFi, you can pay when you receive your pocket WiFi in person.

Step 2. Receive your pocket WiFi at the airport

Now, let’s go get your pocket WiFi at your selected pick-up desk when you made your reservation. Keep in mind that the pick-up spots and hours differ according to the brand. Refer to the pick-up information below!

Step 3. Return after use

You can return your pocket WiFi where you rented it! After you’ve enjoyed your travel in Korea and you’ve returned to the airport for departure, drop by at your original pick-up spot and return your pocket WiFi. How convenient and simple—from start to finish! J

Pocket WiFi, Internet in your pocket for your travel needs! Incheon Airport helps you stay connected to the web from the moment you arrive until you depart, helping you reduce physical contact and interactions with pocket WiFi.

The Reason Aircrafts Can Land Safely at Night – Follow the Greens

If you have ever been to an airport late at night, you probably have wondered how aircrafts could find their paths on the dark runway at night.

Today, let’s discuss Follow the Greens (FTGs), an aeronautical lighting system that assists the safe movement of aircrafts on the ground. We’ll also talk about Incheon Airport’s ground lighting control station, which manages FTGs, and the control system that supports ground operations. Lastly, we will introduce the current standards of the aeronautical lighting facilities of Incheon Airport!

How do aircrafts find their way?

How do aircrafts safely land and depart without trouble at night? This is made possible thanks to “ground lighting,” which assists the navigation of aircrafts using lights, colors, and shapes. Lamps with a variety of glowing lights are mainly used to lead the way. There is also the approach lighting system which are lights that are installed every 30 meters along the runway to announce the angle between the aircraft and the ground. Incheon Airport’s control tower tells pilots which path to take along with these signals.

As a matter of fact, until earlier this year, air-traffic controllers had to explain to the name of each taxiway and each point at which to make a left or right turn. With this system, pilots had to perfectly everything about each airport. Sometimes, they would confuse two airports and enter the wrong taxiway.

To improve this point, Incheon Airport was the world’s first airport to apply the FTGs system, attracting a lot of attention. Let’s look into the details of this system.

What is Follow the Greens?

Before the breakout of the COVID-19, over a thousand commercial flights flew in and out of Incheon Airport each day. It was most of the utmost importance that these flights safely landed on the ground and moved in the right direction without any confusion.

The FTGs, which was introduced to assist such a process, is a guidance and control system that uses ground lighting. Before this system was introduced, pilots found their paths through the names of the taxiways. Starting in the month of April of this year, this system was switched to individual ground lighting guidance and control. In other words, aircrafts’ pathways were now shown through a state-of-the-art ground lighting system. These pathways are indicated with green lights, which is how it got its name, “Follow the Greens.”

The biggest advantage of FTGs is that it visually provides pathways on the taxiways. They really help aircrafts operate safely. In April of this year, the results of four-month trial operation of the system were also released. It was reported that the probability of an aircraft going down the wrong taxiway dropped by 77%.

This is good news for pilots, too. Communication about paths of movement has become more efficient, allowing pilots to move without hesitation. There are no limitations in low-visibility situations, such as at nighttime, on foggy days, and in sea fog. The Advanced-Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (A-SMGCS) introduced at Incheon Airport has improved from Level 4 to Level 4.5, the world’s highest international level!

What is the ground lighting control station?

Proper maintenance of FTGs is essential. Incheon Airport boasts a system that can control over 30,000 lights on the ground. The ground lighting control station can be called the control tower of ground lighting.

The individual aeronautical lighting control system is operated from here. Each lighting system can be monitored from this control room to see whether they are working properly. Incheon Airport is a large airport, making it rather challenging for workers to personally inspect each facility one by one. This is why it is essential to have a system that can check and replace malfunctioning ground lights every day. Furthermore, the management of all flights, including the vehicles, towing, and flight schedule, is done here.

How did the control tower change?

The air-traffic controller is the person who helps an aircraft safely fly all the way to its destination. They can be called the “traffic police of the sky.” These people are stationed in the control tower!

The control tower of Incheon Airport that was refurbished three years ago is the tallest symbolic building of the airport. Over a thousand flights are controlled from here, as of 2017.

Incheon Airport is the only Korean airport in which the control duties are divided between the airport apron, runway, and taxiway areas. The role of the air-traffic controller is growing with the increasing number of flights and air traffic in Korea. Now, with the FTGs, their jobs can be done more efficiently!

The reason aircrafts can move safely and quickly on large runways is the outcome of a collaboration between the cutting-edge FTGs, ground lighting control stations, and the control tower. To see more related information, follow the link below to connect to Incheon Airport’s YouTube channel.😊

24/7 information chatbot Service, Airbot of Incheon Airport

Many questions may come to your mind when using an airport: Which gate should I board from? Where can I have some food before I get on the plane? What are prohibited items in aircraft? What number is the limousine that I should take?

In the meantime, you needed some effort, such as visiting the information desk in person or searching for information. But now, this will allow you to be informed on a non-face-to-face basis whenever and wherever you need. This is Airbot, the chatbot information service you can use on your smart phone or PC to get the information you want!

These days, non-face-to-face service is much more preferred due to the COVID-19. Aren’t you curious about the non-face-to-face 24/7 information chatbot service introduced by Incheon Airport? Let’s find out in this post!

Services Provided by Airport

Airbot is a chatbot service for the users of the Incheon International Airport. It is operated 24/7 all year round to provide the information they need. This service is introduced in preparation for to match the post-coronavirus age, to let visitors more conveniently use the airport!

Then, what kind of information can you get from Airbot? All information required passengers using the airport—from flight information and process procedure to convenience service and transportation. You can even get every information related to the departure and arrival by just typing the flight number! Want to know how you can use this intelligent robot? We will explain in detail on how to use this useful Airbot now! J

How to Use Airbot

To use the Airbot, you may click this link or visit the website of the Incheon Airport. The main page of the website has a direct link to the Airbot. The PC and mobile phone versions have different layouts.

(1) How to use Airbot on PC

If you are using your PC, click the “AIRBOT” button at the bottom on the right menu bar.

(2) How to use Airbot on mobile phone

If you are using your mobile phone, touch the “+” at the bottom right. You will see the “AIRBOT” icon at the very bottom. Touch it to connect to Airbot.

After you are connected to the Airbot through the website of the Incheon Airport, you can see the screen as above. You can use the Airbot in two ways: by selecting the subject that matches the information you need or by typing the question at the chat window.

For example, if you want to find restaurants, select “Shopping & Restaurant”; if you want to buy medicine, select “Loss, Emergency & Medicine.” If you are not sure about the subject of the information you want, enter a question in the form of a sentence or phrase in the chat window! Airbot will answer you right away.

Now you know how to use the Airbot, but you may not be sure about how to use this service in detail. That is why we have prepared how to use the Airbot in each situation! Let’s find out how to use the Airbot in a real situation. J

How to Use Airbot in a Real Situation

Here is the Q&A section where you can find actual question as a passenger who uses the Airbot.

Q. Is there any way I can see all information related to the flight I will take?

One of the most useful services that the Airbot provides is the customized flight information service. Just like a secretary for the travelers, the Airbot offers all related information when entering the flight number. Let’s take a look at the example by entering the number of the flight that departs from the Incheon Airport!

When you click “Flight-based Customized Information on Airport” at the top of the main screen, you will see the flight information screen. Enter the flight number in the search box and touch the search button. You will see the basic flight information, such as the day of departure, time, check-in counter, and gate number. Then, you can do a one-stop search of all the necessary information including how you can get home from the airport, valet parking reservation, and empty spot in each parking lot!

If you have parked your car, it’s time to go through the departure procedure. For your comfortable departure, the Airbot informs you of the real-time degree of congestion in departure hall, preparation checklist before the departure, check-in information, double-check items for immigration. After you go through the departure procedure, you will enter the duty-free area. Here, you will be benefitted from the Airbot with information about shopping in the duty-free shop, restaurants, facilities, and boarding gates. So, what do you think? You may find that it is not an exaggeration to say that the Airbot is the secretary of travelers. J

Q. How does the Incheon Airport responding to COVID-19?

When you turn on the Airbot, you can see the COVID-19 Related Guide. You can touch the Guide button or type “COVID-19” to get the related information.

You can check which means of transportation the overseas arrivals should take and how the Incheon Airport is coping with COVID-19. Find out about COVID-19 related information on the Airbot!

Q. I put my charger in the checked baggage. Where can I charge my mobile phone?

On the main page of the Airbot, touch the “Other Convenient Services” menu and go to “Rest Information (Shower/Rest/Mobile Phone Charging/Smoking).” Then, touch the “Mobile Phone Charging” button to be informed of the spots where you can charge your mobile phone! Or you can directly enter “charging mobile phone” in the chat window to be directed to the information. Using the Airbot is that simple and easy!

How do you like experiencing the Airbot, the 24/7 information chatbot information service? The Airbot will be upgraded with not only the service for the passengers but the workers of the airport with “housing bot” service, and improve the convenience of the workers by introducing the “airport pass talk” service to issue the airport pass.

 

Incheon Airport, a leader of the standard of the international airport service! Please look forward to its future with better smart functions 😊

How to Enjoy Traditional Korean Culture at Incheon Airport

From BTS’s Suga, who achieved great popularity with his song inspired by “Dechwita,” marching music for the king during the Joseon period, to the well-made Joseon zombie series “Kingdom.” The K-pop craze, which has mesmerized female fans around the world, translates into K-culture, and there is mounting interest in traditional Korean culture in K-culture.

For those who visit Korea but do not have much time to travel around the country! For those who visit for a transfer but want to experience the country briefly! Would you believe us if we told you there is a place where you can enjoy traditional Korean culture for free? This is why we should focus on Incheon Airport!

Today, we would like to introduce how to experience and appreciate traditional Korean culture and performances for free at Incheon Airport.


*The operation schedule of some facilities and programs may be subject to change due to COVID-19. Be sure to check before visiting.


 

TIP 1: Visit the Korean Traditional Culture Experience Centers

At the Korean Traditional Culture Experience Center, run by the Korea Cultural Heritage Foundation, visitors can perform various activities such as watching performances, purchasing traditional cultural goods, and making traditional crafts.

You can make traditional crafts yourself and purchase cultural products made by intangible cultural property holders. Musical instruments are also on display one corner, and when it is time for a performance, instruments such as haegeum, janggu, piri, and sori are played for a traditional Korean music performance!

Each of the 5 Korean Traditional Culture Experience Centers has different exhibitions and programs that visitors can experience. The performance schedule also varies depending on the center. In Terminal 1, you can make traditional Korean crafts with hanji, dancheong, najeon, and minhwa. In Terminal 2, an experience program is provided where you can not only make crafts but also try on hanbok. There are many other things to enjoy such as making Korean words or seeing special Korean language exhibitions!

You can buy souvenirs to preserve the memories of your trip to Korea, watch traditional Korean music performances, and enjoy various experience programs at the Korean Traditional Culture Experience Centers! The experience programs are offered to foreigners for free, so don’t forget to check them out! J

TIP 2: Watch a Cultural Performance

A variety of cultural performances are held outside the Korean Traditional Culture Experience Centers as well. Here, we will introduce the Walk of the Royal Family and the Royal Guard Changing Ceremony to list a few.

(1) Walk of the Royal Family

Incheon Airport has been holding the Walk of the Royal Family in Terminal 1 since 2010. It is a recreation of the royal palace during the Joseon period, gaining positive reactions from many passengers.

Performers reenact the royal family’s daily life while walking between the West and East Halls of the Korean Traditional Culture Experience Center in the duty-free area on the 3rd floor. After the performance, there is also photo time when you can take photos with performers.

(2) The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony

As of last year, visitors can enjoy an year-round cultural performance even in Terminal 2! The performance is Incheon Airport’s Royal Guard Changing Ceremony as seen in the photo below.

Article 1 of May 18, Yejong, “Veritable Records of the Joseon Dynasty” states, “Appoint gate guards every day, give them gate tags, and make them defend the gate.” This gives an important order to brave gate guards to defend the gates of the royal palace.

The Royal Guard Changing Ceremony is a performance that reenacts the changing of the royal guard in the duty-free area of the Departure Hall on the 3rd floor of Terminal 2. With these performances, visitors can enjoy various performances that can only be seen in period dramas here in the terminal.

Today, we have introduced how to enjoy traditional Korean culture in Terminals 1 and 2 of Incheon Airport. We hope you can enjoy the various types of traditional Korean culture while walking or taking a break in the terminals!


* The operation schedule of some facilities and programs may be subject to change due to COVID-19. Be sure to check before visiting.