Incheon Airport opens skyway of Kywait through heavy downpour

On November 14th, in 2018, it was about a month before the Grand Opening of the Terminal 4 of Kuwait.

For about 24hours, there was a heavy downpour in Kuwait.

Access road between Terminal 1 and Terminal 4 has been lost, 

and major airport facilities such as moorings, taxiways and boarding bridges have been flooded 

or suffered leaking, which caused suspension of every flight of Kuwait Airport for the first time ever.

“All of a sudden, a story about Kuwait Airport?”

Some of you might wonder.

What does Incheon Airport have to do with downpour incident of Kuwait?

Becoming a ‘Teaching Airport’ from ‘Learning Airport’ in 9 years after opening

Incheon Airport has been delivering its know-how to the other international airports since early state after grand opening. Nine years after its opening in 2001, Incheon Airport successfully transformed into a ‘Teaching Airport’ from a ‘Learning Airport’.

Starting with the consulting project in 2009 to support the operation of the new airport in Irbil, Iraq, the operation consulting of the new airport in Istanbul, Turkey, development consulting of commercial facility in Terminal 3 of Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia and the establishment of a master plan for the development of the national aviation development in Paraguay, Incheon Airport developed solid ability through 24 project in total 14 countries.

As you could have guessed already, connection with Kuwait Airport also began in extension of these projects.


Kuwait International Airport is a state-run airport with Kuwaiti government having a 100 percent stake and is the one of the representative airport of Middle East visited by 12 million passengers in 2017.

In 2018, the Kuwaiti government promoted the construction of Terminal 4, which worth 140 billion won KRW, to prepare for the growing demand for air flights, and Incheon Airport Corporation was chosen as the consignment operator of Terminal 4. Isn’t it great to hear that Incheon Airport is the first foreign operator to operate an airport in Kuwait ever?

Especially it was very competitive project between many airports, including France, Germany, Turkey and Ireland. Incheon Airport won the competition among them.

The record downpour in 100 years...What was Incheon Airport’s response?

Terminal 4 of Kuwait Airport was establishing systemic foundation based on Incheon Airport’s know-how in operation. It was only a month before the Grand Opening that downpour broke in on this seemingly smooth journey.

At that time, downpour was the highest level since 1901, and there was widespread skepticism in Kuwait’s Civil Aviation Administration about when the airport operations could resume.


Based on accumulated operational know-how and crisis response capabilities, Incheon Airport had shown its achievements by normalizing airport operations in a short period of just a week through cooperation with related agencies.


The employees dispatched from corporation went on emergency duty in case of an emergency, and concentrated service personnel on the scene to minimize passenger traffic. With the constructors, they quickly drained the area to minimize soil flooding due to rainfall, and completed early normalization of aircraft operating areas such as moorings and runways.


Officials from Kuwait Civil Aviation Administration, who watched the process right next to them, applauded Incheon Airport’s ability to respond quickly.

"From the passion and dedication shown by Incheon Airport during normalization process of terminal operations after record downpour of Kuwait in November 2018, we could see why it is called the world's best airport."

Yosef Alphojan
Deputy commissioner of the Kuwait Civil Aviation Administration

‘Kuwait Airport Terminal 4’ recognized by both performance and safety.

Kuwait Airport Terminal 4, which celebrated its first anniversary in September 2019, has shown stable performance.


As of the first half of 2019, the airport had over 15,000 flights, 2.29 million passengers and 750,000 transit passengers. The destination cities cover 46 cities, 16 in the Middle East, 15 in Europe and 12 in Asia.

What’s surprising is that it’s not just about the performance!


The Airport received highest rank in security inspection by the National Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), which means that it was recognized as excellent in overall inspection items such as security equipment, staff capacity, and security education.


Once again, Incheon Airport’s know-how in airport operating had been proven as world’s best on the international stage!

After Service is also important! "Come and update your aviation knowledge."

Incheon Airport continuously conveys its know-how in airport operation to Kuwait Airport. In April 2019, it ran a customized curriculum for two weeks.


20 employees of Kuwait Civil Aviation Administration and five working-level officials from Kuwait Airport Terminal 4 participated in the curriculum to update their operational know-how and up-to-date knowledge of Incheon Airport.

Can you see the concentration of the participants in the picture? Participants were very satisfied with the high-quality curriculum developed by Incheon Airport, including theoretical learning and on-site training about terminal and luggage operations, commercial facilities management, and airport safety & security.

Incheon Airport plans to expand its overseas business, focusing on emerging markets such as the Middle East, Asia and Eastern Europe, based on its experience of successfully conducting consignment operations of Terminal 4 of Kuwait Airport.


As Incheon Airport is expanding around the world, there will be more opportunities for global travelers to enjoy quality airport services, right? Please look forward to the great performance of Incheon Airport, Korea’s proud representative gateway!

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