fp: family vacation to seoul (part 4)

Hari ni bangun seawal pukul 4 pagi untuk bersiap ke Incheon Airport. Naik bas yg disediakan dari hotel pada pukul 6 pagi. Matahari di Seoul lambat sikit dari Nihon sbb kedudukannya yg ke barat dan sekarang tgh winter. Sampai ke airport, breakfast di Lotteria dgn Cafe Latte. Sempat ke duty free shop membeli perfumes Calvin Klein for man n woman, souvenirs dan paste bibimbap. Then anak2 ke Playroom di boarding area. Naik ke kapal terbang dlm pkl 8:50 pagi. Inflight meal adalah moslem meals: briyani kambing (lagi sekali), smoked salmon’s salad, pineapple etc. Cuaca amat baik dan kurang turbulence compare flight NRT-ICH. Sampai ke NRT pada pkl 11:40. Lepas hantar luggage kat Kuroneko Takyubin, kami naik Keisei Line, Asakusa Line dan Tokyu Ikegami Line ke rumah. Sampai ke rumah dlm pkl 3 ptg. Alhamdulillah kami selamat pergi dan pulang. Anak2 pun ok walaupun terpaksa bangun awal. Mungkin kerana flight cuma lebih kurang 2 jam setengah compare dgn flight ke Hong Kong atau ke Malaysia. Insyaallah kalau ada peluang, akan ke Beijing pulak selepas ini.

Incheon International Airport (IIA) (IATA: ICN, ICAO: RKSI) (hangul: 인천국제공항; hanja: 仁川國際空港) is the largest airport in South Korea, and one of the largest in Asia.

Incheon International Airport is the main hub for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Cargo 360, and DHL. Additionally, the start up Korean subsiduary of Tiger Airways is seeking to base itself at Incheon International Airport. The airport opened for business in early 2001, replacing the international function of the old Gimpo Airport (formerly Kimpo International Airport). Gimpo Airport now serves only domestic destinations, except flights to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda), Japan and Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport, China.

The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia. Security facilities are state-of-the-art and medical inspection equipment is also very advanced, in response to terrorist threats and various epidemics in southern Asia. As a result, Incheon International Airport is considered Asia’s most technologically facilitated airport. The 2005 AETRA passenger survey, jointly administered by the IATA and Airports Council International, voted it the best airport in the world.[1] Incheon International airport has received the full 5-star ranking by Skytrax, the prestigious recognition shared only by Singapore Changi Airport and Hong Kong International Airport.

Incheon International Airport is also currently Asia’s sixth busiest airport, behind Tokyo International Airport [Haneda] (Tokyo), Beijing Capital International Airport (Beijing), Suvarnabhumi Airport (Bangkok), Hong Kong International Airport (Hong Kong), Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore), and Narita International Airport (serves Tokyo).

Incheon International Airport is located west of Incheon, on Yeongjong-Yeongyu Island in the Yellow Sea. In the past, there were two separate islands of Yeongjong Island and Yeongyu Island but the distance between them that were once covered by the sea got filled to form one island from two. Both of these islands were part of the City of Incheon. It is connected to the mainland by Freeway 130, a part of which is Yeongjong Bridge, and is served by frequent bus service from all parts of South Korea as well as by ferry service from Incheon and other nearby ports. Airport limousines operate around the clock from Seoul to Incheon, and several backup highway buses escort people from places within and outside Seoul.

In addition, a highway between Incheon and Gimpo International Airport was completed years ago, connecting domestic flight service with international air traffic, an advantage that makes it far easier to travel from southern Korean regions to Incheon, and then to airports all over the globe. The Incheon International Airport Railroad link to Gimpo International Airport (and Seoul Subway Line 5) opened on March 23, 2007,[2] with a further extension to Seoul Station due for completion by January 2010.

The airport was awarded the “Best in Service Award in Class” at the 1st International Conference on Airport Quality and Service by the IATA and the ACI, and ranked second in “Best Airport Worldwide”, behind Hong Kong International Airport, and ahead of Singapore International Airport. It was also ranked No. 1 in the world by the Airports Council International.

After the Seoul Olympics of 1988, international air traffic to Korea was increasing at a tremendous rate. Especially as time progressed into the 90’s, it became apparent that Gimpo International Airport could not keep up with the increase in air traffic. As such, in order to reduce load on Gimpo International Airport, and establish a new airport which could become the center of air traffic in the region, construction of the airport began in November 1992. The airport was constructed on a reclaimed land between Yeongjong Island and Youngyu Island. It took eight years to construct the airport, and an additional six months to test operate. The airport was officially opened in March 2001. The airport was designed to be constructed in multiple stages, more commonly known as phases. Currently, the airport is in the first phase, with the second phase construction progressing.

When the airport was first opened, there were numerous problems that broke out, most of them having to do with the baggage handling systems. In fact, the problem was first discovered during the test phase, but was never worked out in time. As a result, for a month after the airport opened, the system had to be operated on a semi-automatic mode. Nevertheless, most of the problems were worked out within a month, and the airport continued to operate normally, exceeding all expectations.

After September 11 of 2001 when the airplane attacks occurred, the airport’s security system was upgraded to state of the art systems, and medical inspection equipments were also upgraded in response to the various epidemics occurring in neighboring countries. In addition, following the advice of ICAO on upgrading various facilities as well as independently pursuing airport enhancements have caused the airport to be recognized as the most technologically advanced airport in Asia.

Due to the positive response towards the airport, its air traffic increased tremendously. By early 2002, it became apparent that the airport would be saturated by 2006. As a result, in February 2002, the construction of the second phase was initiated. Originally, the construction were supposed to have ended by December 2008. However, due to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, the construction schedule was modified to allow the construction to end by July 2008.

On November 15, 2006, the Airbus A380 landed at the airport as part of the first leg of its certification trip. During the visit, the airport observed the operation of other air traffic especially during ground operations. In addition, the plane was docked into one of its boarding gates to ensure that the aircraft was fully compatible with the airport. The results were satisfactory, confirming that the airport would be fully Airbus A380 capable, from the runways to the taxiways, and up to every single boarding dock.

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