Incheon International Airport has claimed many honors since it opened 15 years ago.
But it seems Korea’s gateway is still hungry for excellence.
Hwang Hojun has this report.
Incheon International Airport has been recognized as the best airport in the world by the Airports Council International for an eleventh straight year.
It’s the highest accolade an airport can receive.
But there’s more.
The airport has also surpassed the 500-million mark for accumulated number of visitors… and has the eighth highest international passenger traffic in the world.
“It means they’re doing their job very well. And it is easy to navigate and people are helpful.”
The airport strives to impress its customers with amenities such as premium duty-free shops, a quality medical center, a movie theater and even a spa.
Visitors can also experience Korean culture through the multiple cultural events scheduled throughout the day.
However, a great amount of effort is necessary for the airport to maintain its high standard of service.
“Complacency does not seem to be an issue. I’m coming back next year, looking forward to it, and I expect that the things that I like will still be here, and I’ll be surprised by something new.”
The airport has also had to overcome its share of challenges.
Earlier this year, there were a couple of embarrassing security breaches and luggage mishandling incidents.
“The airport is already reaching its maximum capacity, which is the main cause of those mishaps. But we’ll be able to prevent issues like these, as we’ll get much more breathing room when the third phase of our construction project is done in 2017.”
The project includes a second terminal, which will allow the airport to support over 62 million passengers and a thousand flights a day.
The airport has also signed an agreement to build a resort called Inspire, with completion set for 2020.
The facility will include six-star hotels, theme parks, shopping centers and a casino — all practically adjacent to the airport.
“Winning the best airport service quality award for 11 consecutive years is an impressive accomplishment. But there are still hurdles to overcome, and Korea’s flagship airport plans to continue to evolve and put the needs of its customers first.
Hwang Hojun, Arirang News, Incheon.”