North Korean balloons disrupt Incheon Airport

Posted: 27 June 2024 | | No comments yet

Incheon International Airport near Seoul, South Korea, faced disruption and delays after North Korean balloons landed on Terminal 2.

incheon airport

Incheon International Airport in Seoul, South Korea was brought to a standstill after balloons filled with refuse halted terminal operations.

Take-offs and landings were suspended three hours before daybreak on Wednesday after balloons filled with waste from North Korea landed near passenger Terminal 2. Three runways were shut down temporarily while the issue was sorted.

Hundreds of rubbish-filled balloons from North Korea have landed across the South Korean border since May.

According to an airport spokesman, balloons had been spotted around the boundary in the past. The airport is located around 40km from the North Korean border.

Between the hours of 0146 and 0444, there was disruption to domestic and international flights, with some diversions to other airports. The runways are now open again, according to Incheon International Airport Corporation.

Flight volumes at this time of day are normally low, but FlightRadar24 showed eight arriving passenger and cargo trains were diverted to Cheongju or Jeju Airports in South Korea and one cargo plane was diverted Yantai in China.

Some landings were delayed and departures were disrupted for the rest of the day by several hours.

South Korea’s military have said that about 100 balloons landed on South Korean soil between Tuesday and Wednesday, in the capital of Seoul and the surrounding Gyeonggi province. The contents of the balloons varied from soil containing human faeces and parasites to plain scraps of paper.

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