Bird Strike – Why Aircrafts Are Afraid of Birds

Question! What do aircrafts fear most? Storms? Turbulence? No, it’s actually birds! In fact, there was an incident where birds as small as a human forearm could have claimed 155 lives.

On January 15, 2009, US Airways Flight 1549, which took off from New York City’s LaGuardia Airport, lost power in both of its engines after it struck a flock of birds. It occurred just 2 minutes after take-off.

This accident, where the pilot fortunately made an emergency landing on the Hudson River and saved everyone on board, was adapted into the film Sully: Miracle on the Hudson.

This phenomenon where an aircraft strikes a flock of birds is called a bird strike. Bird strikes occur quite often all around the world, costing more than KRW 1.3 trillion annually. Curious as to how and why birds much smaller than aircrafts cause such powerful damage upon impact? Let’s find out!

What makes a bird as light as 1.8 kg a 64-ton airborne bomb?

Airborne birds have what is called relativistic kinetic energy and the faster an aircraft the more powerfully it strikes birds. So, if a bird weighing 1.8 kg strikes an aircraft flying 960 km/h, it creates 64 tonnes of impact. As mentioned earlier, such incidents may lead aircrafts to crash or perform an emergency landing.

Then, why don’t birds just dodge the massive aircrafts headed straight at them? Birds are naturally programmed to avoid obstacles and even predators only if it comes within 30 meters. In other words, they do not respond to objects further than 30 meters from them. It takes only 0.3 seconds for an aircraft flying at 290 km/h to cover 30 meters. You see, bird strikes are near inevitable as it happens almost instantly.

Incheon Airport has around-the-clock bird control personnel?

What a scary thing bird strikes are! But rest assured!

While Incheon Airport saw 17 cases of bird strikes occur in 2019, there was no airplane damage or flight disruption. Currently, Incheon Airport has 30 employees designated to scare away birds around the clock. These employees are veterans professionally trained and qualified with a hunting license.

To supplement the shortcomings of hunting rifles, Incheon Airport introduced ultrasonic bird repellers, which emit sound waves to drive away birds, and successfully showed a demonstration of bird control with Korean drones in 2018. Drones were able to confirm the possibility of bird control by surveilling birds’ flying routes, and served as an opportunity to increase expectations about the usefulness of drones in places like swamps or bushes where it is difficult for people to access or visibly identify birds.

Moreover, Incheon Airport takes the lead in preventing bird strikes by conducting habitat surveys to fundamentally stop the entry of birds while in close collaborative relationships with bird control experts and relevant institutions as well as academia.

Want to learn more about Incheon Airport’s bird control activities? Go check out Incheon Airport TV!

Today, we looked at the meaning, significance and risks of bird strikes, and Incheon Airport’s efforts to prevent them. Incheon Airport will work harder to ensure and manage flight safety for passengers’ safe air travel!

Top 3 Best Sunrise Spots Around Incheon Airport

An eventful 2020 is coming to a close. At a time when carefree daily life has become a thing of the past due to COVID-19, aren’t you wondering what future 2021 holds for us?

That’s why we prepared this post! While wishing you a happy 2021, we would like to introduce to you some places which help you refresh and start again. This post will cover the top 3 best sunrise spots around Incheon Airport worth knowing if you come visit us around the beginning of next year. Let’s take a look at them!

Geojampo Wharf, a wharf where the sun rises and sets

There is a spot to catch the sunrise just 7 km from Terminal 1 of Incheon Airport. It is Geojampo Wharf, which is crowded with tourists on New Year’s Day.

Geojampo Wharf is a special place where you can see both the sunrise and sunset! Hence, it is nicknamed a wharf where the sun rises and sets. This is a place where you can see the last sunset of the year on December 31st and the first sunrise of a new year. Curious to find out more? Keep reading!

There is another reason why Geojampo Wharf is so special. You can see a breathtaking sunrise against the background of Maedorang, also known as a shark islet for its resemblance to a shark’s fin! When the sun slowly rises next to Maedorang, everyone makes a wish and new year’s resolution.

After you make a new year’s wish watching this beautiful sunrise, you will surely feel hungry. There are many restaurants around Geojampo Wharf where you can have breakfast! It is also easy to get there as it is just a 5-minute walk from Yongyu Station, the last station of Incheon Airport’s Maglev Line. Let’s go on a trip to Geojampo Wharf to catch a romantic sunrise!


Location

11, Jamjindo-gil, Jung-gu, Incheon

https://goo.gl/maps/QfcaBgFNHLSnyELw9


 

From Terminal 1

  • Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 Station (Maglev Line) in the direction of Long Term Parking Station (bound for Yongyu Station) → Get off Yongyu Station → Walk for 8 min → Arrive at Geojampo Wharf
  • Click here for other directions

 

From Terminal 2

  • Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 2 Station (AREX) in the direction of Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 Station (bound for Seoul Station) → Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 → Transfer to the Maglev Line → Get off Yongyu Station → Walk for 8 min → Arrive at Geojampo Wharf
  • Click here for other directions

Seoksangot, where the sun sits over the bridge

Seoksangot, located 7 km from Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 just like Geojampo Wharf, is another famous sunrise spot. This is because you can see the sun rising above the main towers of the Incheondaegyo Bridge.

While Geojampo Wharf is a wharf where the sun rises and sets, Seoksangot is characterized by a sunrise above the sea and city. It is an exotic sunrise spot where the sun rising above Songdo International Business District harmonizes with the main towers of the Incheondaegyo Bridge, making you appreciate both nature and the city. Like Geojampo Wharf, it provides a special landscape with small fishing boats and ships docked in mudflats. Don’t you want to see for yourself the harmony of the Incheondaegyo Bridge and nature?

After seeing the sunrise, it would be a good idea to visit Yeongjongdo Sky Garden near Seoksangot. In this place where airplanes are flying over your head, let’s watch them pass and hope that we can fly freely someday soon!

Seoksangot, a sunrise spot where you can feel the attractiveness of nature and city at once! How about watching a red sunrise slowly rising above the Incheondaegyo Bridge and making a wish for 2021?


Location

2854-2, Unseo-dong, Jung-gu, Incheon

https://goo.gl/maps/YZEe1q7L9niCNxVG9


 

Taxi recommended; no public transport

  • Taxi stand at Terminal 1: Transportation Center on 1F (8C-9C for regular taxi / 4C for international taxi)
  • Taxi stand at Terminal 2: Transportation Center on 1F

Ara Maru Observatory on Gyeongin Ara Waterway, a thrilling glass floor skywalk

The last sunrise spot is Ara Maru Observatory on Gyeongin Ara Waterway famous for its thrilling skywalk on the glass floor. Gyeongin Ara Waterway is the first canal in Korea connecting the sea in Incheon and the Hangang River. Ara Maru Observatory is famous for having the best view of this waterway.

Ara Maru is a round observatory located in a valley with its entire floor made of glass. The floor with 46 meters in diameter is made up of 3-layer reinforced glass, while handrails are made up of 2-layer reinforced glass. It is exciting yet scary as if you are walking in the sky. Imagine what a sunrise would be like here! Wouldn’t it feel as if you walk in the sky while watching the sun rise? Be sure to remember Ara Maru Observatory if you want to experience a sunrise with different sensation! J

After watching the sunrise, you can walk in a walkway built along the waterway or have a hot cup of coffee to warm you up in a rest area in front of the observatory. The rest area has a convenience store, food court, and cafe, where you can grab a bite! Keep in mind that the rest area opens at 9 AM!

Finally, check here for sunrise time, which is important for your sunrise trip! J


Location

Gyeongin Ara Waterway Ara Maru, 228, Ara-ro, Gyeyang-gu, Incheon

https://goo.gl/maps/im5yMHau1fUQGZVw8


 

From Terminal 1

  • Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 Station (AREX) in the direction of Incheon Int’l Airport Cargo Terminal Station (bound for Seoul Station) → Get off Gyeyang Station, and transfer to bus 597 at Exit 1 → Arrive at Ara Maru Observatory in Duksil-dong
  • Click here for other directions

 

From Terminal 2

  • Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 2 Station (AREX) in the direction of Incheon Int’l Airport Terminal 1 Station (bound for Seoul Station) → Get off Gyeyang Station, and transfer to bus 597 at Exit 1 → Arrive at Ara Maru Observatory in Duksil-dong
  • Click here for other directions

We have looked at three sunrise spots around Incheon Airport. Let’s make a new year’s resolution and wish in one of these sunrise attractions! Incheon Airport hopes that COVID-19 goes away as quickly as possible and we can meet passengers excited about their travel soon.

Heartwarming Commercial Campaigns From Airports Across the World

An airport has been considered a place where you stay as little as possible before visiting somewhere special. We used to say true memories are made from the moment when we get out of the airport.

“What if we create good memories for passengers, which can only be experienced inside the airport?”

The commercial campaigns, which brought new sensations to passengers following their regular routine in the airport, began with this question. This post introduces campaigns held by the London Heathrow Airport, the Canadian West Jet, and the Incheon Airport! 😊

London Heathrow Airport, “Coming Home for Christmas”

Heathrow Airport is an airport near London, representing the UK. It is the largest airport in the UK, the most crowded in Europe, and the third-most crowded airport in the world.

During the winter of 2016, Heathrow Airport drew a lot of attention when it first revealed the commercial “Coming Home for Christmas,” featuring the travel of an elderly teddy bear couple.

The camera follows the teddy bear couple, who picks up their baggage and finds an exit, with warmth in their heart. The couple, arriving at the exit, looks for someone among the crowd waiting for their loved ones. Then, two kids run into the arms of the couple, and the commercial ends with teddy bears switched to humans and hugging their grandkids.

This commercial delivers the warm message that the best gift of all” is being together with your family, which caught the attention of the world. Most of the people wants to spend a warm end-of-the-year with their beloved ones. Many people seemed to empathize with Heathrow Airport’s campaign.

West Jet, “Real-time Giving”

West Jet is an airline headquartered in Calgary, Canada. It is the second largest airline in Canada, following Air Canada.

West Jet unveiled a video titled “Christmas Miracle: Real-time Giving” during the winter of 2013. As its name suggests, it features the event of giving out gifts in real time.

At the event zone installed by West Jet within the airport premises, Santa appears on the screen, asking passengers the gifts they wanted to receive this Christmas. The video dynamically captures the process of how West Jet quickly noted down the list of gifts responded by the passengers until the gifts were delivered even before the passengers could arrive at their destination.

It was impressive to see people satisfied and happy with the gifts and especially a couple who mentioned a big screen TV. This was a campaign that delivered a message saying, miracles do happen when we all work as one.

Incheon Airport, “Experience the Wonders of Korea”

And of course, there is a campaign from Incheon Airport! As a smart airport, Incheon Airport provided a different level of fun with its VR-based commercial campaign, “Experience the Wonders of Korea,” showcased at the end of 2016.

This campaign answers the question on how to turn boredom of passengers waiting in the airport into excitement” with a great idea of bringing the virtual world into reality. It was a surprise event where they set up a VR experience booth inside the airport, where the images the passengers saw in VR were transformed into reality right in front of their eyes. When they took their headset off after seeing various images of Korea in VR, they were surprised to see what they saw from VR unfolding before their eyes.

This campaign was designed to allow people to experience various traditions in Korea such as food, fashion, and martial arts and gained positive feedbacks from both Korean and international passengers. It must have helped foreign tourists who visited Korea for the first time to get more interested in Korea after experiencing such joy and excitement at Incheon Airport, right?

Incheon Airport had again prepared something special at the end of last year to allow passengers to begin a new year with more happiness—the “Hello to Your New Year” holiday campaign! It’s an event that when passengers say hello in front of the booths set up at two different places, they would receive gifts from Korean lucky bags. Click the link below to see more details about the campaign. 😊

So far, we have looked at the heartwarming commercial campaigns from airports across the world, by turning our expectations or giving out unexpected gifts! These campaigns seem to give us the message of how to make use of expectations” of participants. While it is a shame that we cannot do more campaigns due to COVID-19, we hope to see new commercial campaigns at airports crowded with passengers, surprising passengers at the end of next year! 😊

Which Would You Pick as the Best Airport?

Every year, we can see the world’s best airport announced on the news. Who judges and under what criteria? Generally, flight service consulting companies rank airports through various polls and surveys. A major consulting company of such is Skytrax.

Skytrax is a UK-based consultancy that specializes in airport and airline reviews. The company awards in 20 categories every year, based on online surveys about key services of airports, such as check-in, arrival, transit, and shopping, targeting travelers from around the world.

Then, what is the rank for Incheon Airport, the main gate of the Republic of Korea, that has been summed up by Skytrax? Incheon Airport took first place in the categories of terminal and transit airport at the 2020 World Airport Awards held by Skytrax in May this year. It was awarded the World’s Best Airport Terminal and the World’s Best Transit Airport. In particular, Terminal 2 of Incheon Airport was acknowledged as the best airport terminal in the world within three years after its opening in January 2018!

World's top ranking! What’s the secret to Incheon Airport’s excellence?

The secret to Incheon Airport’s becoming the world’s top airport is its introduction of convenient, smart technologies and the culture & arts service that showcase the beauty of Korea.

Unlike other airports, Incheon Airport shows strong IT power from the boarding process. You can use various convenient smart technologies, from Smart Check-in Zone where you can check-in and bag drop by yourself to AI chatbot services where you can easily find the answers to your curiosities. Additionally, there are AIRSTAR guide robots around the airport to help travelers with cutting-edge ICT technologies including autonomous driving and voice recognition.

As the main airport of the Republic of Korea, Incheon Airport is not simply a gate of transportation, but it also gives unique impressions and a pleasant experience to domestic and foreign travelers. In it, there are large-scale artworks of domestic and foreign artists installed and the access road to the airport is like a gallery where artworks are displayed as well. Additionally, you can enjoy traditional cultural performances that may make the audience touched and excited, such as “Walk of the Royal Family,” and “Changing of the Guards Ceremony.”

Incheon Airport was not only awarded the World’s Best Airport Terminal but also the World’s Best Transit Airport two years in a row. It was praised as it provides tailormade transit programs, including a convenient and rapid transit process, various transit convenience facilities, and a multi-language transit information service.

Voters’ pick for the Best Airport in the World!

Skytrax is selecting the world’s best airport at the end of 2020 again through the vote of travelers from around the world. What airport would be the world’s top airport this time?

It is said that there is an airport that has become a role model for other airports around the world in preemptive response to COVID-19 and disinfection as it is ranked first place in Airport Service Quality (ASQ) 13 years in a row 😊 You know which airport it is. We hope there will be another good score for the clean and clear Incheon Airport this time again. Thank you for your support!

Travel Bubble and Survey on Intent to Travel

One of the difficulties that came along with the prolonged situation of the COVID-19 outbreak is international travel. Taking a good rest in somewhere different or experiencing a new culture is not as easy as it used to be. Now, when disease control is most important than ever, a mandatory quarantine period for entering a country is very common.

In this time of COVID-19, “travel bubble” has been suggested as the most plausible alternative for traveling abroad. Today, we will find out what the travel bubble is and what meaning there is to it. We will also go through the items and details of the survey on intent to travel conducted at Incheon Airport!

What is a “travel bubble”?

A travel bubble is one of the greatest points of interest that global airlines and the travel industry are considering with prolonged COVID-19. Travel bubble refers to an agreement among countries with verified ability of disease control allowing their residents with negative COVID-19 test results to travel back and forth between the countries with no separate quarantine period.

This is a newly invented word after the COVID-19 outbreak. It means to say that countries with outstanding disease control abilities are inside a safe bubble. The bubble forms a safety shield blocking external risk factors, while enabling free travel inside! It is also called an air bridge or travel corridor in a sense that it connects certain travel destinations.

The first countries that made the travel bubble agreement are Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also established a limited travel bubble facilitating official business trips with no quarantine period upon arrival.

More and more countries are also implementing the travel bubble agreement. On October 16, Australia and New Zealand signed the agreement followed by Hong Kong and Singapore. Hong Kong, in particular, is considering forming a travel bubble with 11 countries, including South Korea, Thailand, Australia, New Zealand, Malaysia, Vietnam, France, Switzerland, Germany, and Singapore.

South Korea, which is also eligible for the agreement, is considering partnering with Asian countries. The Korean government is currently discussing the matter with Hong Kong, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, and Singapore. The recent peak in the COVID-19 trend may delay the implementation, but it surely is relieving news for the airline and travel industry which have been greatly hit by the pandemic.

So, what meaning does it have to Korea to actively form travel bubbles?

First of all, forming travel bubbles will be most advantageous for increasing profits of airlines. Since travelers will not be required a mandatory period of quarantine, more people will be flying for travel and business purposes. It will be a good opportunity for most travel industries, which have been greatly suffering from the prolonged COVID-19 situation.

Stabilizing the trend of confirmed patients through disease control is essential to form a travel bubble, as the agreement is among countries with less COVID-19 impact and low confirmation trends. This matter was raised several times at the National Assembly inspection of government offices in October. Maintaining the agreement also requires a high level of COVID-19 response from all travel bubble partners.

Of course, a thorough preliminary inspection is needed for a travel bubble that really works. In this regard, Incheon Airport conducted a survey on the impact of travel bubbles to the intent of traveling abroad. Let’s take a closer look.

Survey on intent to travel after forming travel bubbles

Last September, Incheon Airport’s Airport Industry Technology Research Institute (AITRI) revealed the results of a survey on the intent to travel responded by 600 locals of over 18 years of age and 400 foreigners from Vietnam and China. The objective was to find out the impact of the travel agreement on international flights, as well as determining which air route should have the greatest number of passengers. Incheon Airport announced that it will make strong efforts to form travel agreements, starting with this survey.

The items of the questionnaire conducted by AITRI was formed in five categories. Let’s go through them one by one.

The first question is on the awareness on travel bubbles. About 30% of Koreans were aware of this system, while 66% of non-Koreans had already known about it. This implies that the travel bubble should be more actively promoted in Korea to establish more travel bubbles.

The second item is on the intent to travel before and after the forming of travel bubbles. 11.2% of Koreans responded that they have the intent to travel before the forming of travel bubbles, while 52.8% of them responded that they do after the implementation. As for non-Koreans, 20.8% and 72.2% responded the same, respectively, showing a significant increase after the forming of the system. This must mean that more people would travel after the implementation of the travel bubble.

Then, why did respondents wish to travel after forming travel bubbles? The greatest result turned out to be because they believe there will be no risk of COVID-19 transmission. Wishing to explore a new travel destination was also answered by a lot of respondents. However, the reason others still chose not to travel even after forming travel bubbles turned out to be concerns of COVID-19 transmission, so there must be a lot of endeavor in securing safety even after the forming of travel bubbles.

Then, which countries did the respondents prefer to travel? Most responded Southeast Asia, making up 20.3% of Korean respondents. Most non-Koreans chose Korea (34.2%) followed by Japan (23.4%) and Southeast Asia (7.9%), showing a preference for Asian countries.

Many Koreans responded they wish to see natural scenic areas and visit historic sites (52.8%) as their purpose of travel. As for non-Koreans, exploring food (34.6%) was the most popular purpose.

Today, we found out what travel bubble is and the intent to travel after the implementation of travel bubbles. Should the system be put into action, it is expected to give positive impact on the travel industry as well as the leisure activities of people.

Incheon Airport is striving for the travel bubble agreement, stage by stage, with hopes to reoperate the international air routes. We hope this persistent endeavor will make a substantial result. Until then, Incheon Airport will focus on disease control and prevention for safe travel in this time of COVID-19!