1. What sort of preparations have to go into getting ready for the massive increase in airport traffic?
  • Like any major world event, advance preparations are key. South Korea is normally a fairly straight-forward country to operate to, but with the games, there will be a surge in requests and it is recommended that all services be secured in advance. Landing permit and slot processes are standardized for all operations to South Korea, but delays should be expected in processing requests. The closer we get to the games, the fewer slots will be available. The best thing operators attending can do is to work with their service provider to confirm arrangements as soon as possible and to avoid making changes to approved permits and airport slots to prevent issues with re-approval. Also, be aware of the CIQ process and visa and passport needs.
  • Yangyang Airport (RKNY) is the closest airport to the games. The authorities at RKNY will be managing slot confirmations to reduce confusion because there are only seven parking spots, a single runway and no parallel taxiway.
  • Aircraft parking at RKNY is limited to two hours. We recommend repositioning to RKSS and RKSI.
  • Early schedules, no urgent changes (parking space in RKSS during 8-12 Feb is already full, so early requests are preferred) (opening and closing ceremonies will be peak time)
  • Avoiding commercial flights schedules (operatig 24 hours in RKNY) , due to commercial flights always taking priority in RKNY
  • Parking time is limited into two hours so not many problems expected for airport traffic at RKNY
  • Recommend only drop and pick up pax in RKNY, and all preparation in repositon place (RKSS,RKSI).
  • If needed, FBO in RKSS for domestic flights is also available during Olympic games.

 

  1.  What sorts of services can you offer to clients and customers to take the stress out of travelling to the Olympics?
  • Most importantly, we can give operators peace of mind. We are highly experienced coordinating missions to high-traffic world events, and have the global expertise and resources on the ground, from ground transportation, security and catering, to ensure a seamless experience. Our experience at many high-profile events, such as the Summer and Winter Games, as well as events like the World Cup allow us to fully understand best practices and the “gotchas” that can derail a mission.
  • On a mission to an event like the Winter Games, the more handoffs an operation has, the more risk for a mistake from a handoff is introduced. Because of our global network or resources, we can reduce that risk by taking greater ownership of the total mission. We do more than just coordinate slots, parking and permissions, we have concierge representatives on the ground to handle last-minute requests, we have contracts at local hotels in Seoul, catering partners and partnerships with local ground handlers.
  • In some cases, we may be able to expedite passengers through CIQ, but because the airport is small, it usually still takes 10-15 minutes to clear.
  • Because of our contact network and partnerships, we can arrange for ramp services with no delays.

 

  1.  How can our clients and customers best prepare to ensure a smooth process?
  • The most important thing is to stick to your schedule and be on time due to the limited slot availability (only four flights per hour).
  • Request all services as far ahead as possible and always make sure to receive confirmation.
  • Keep in mind, there is no VIP room or lounge is at RKNY, except for official visitors (government provide protocol rooms only for them).

 

  1.  Is dealing with major sporting and other big global events something Universal is experienced in?
  • Yes, we have extensive experience in supporting missions to high-traffic world events. Our preparations begin months and sometimes years in advance for major events. One of the great benefits of our global presence is that our locations around the world all share information with one another so that we are constantly improving and incorporating best practices from each other. We also work to empower our clients by providing them the operational information they need in advance of these types of events. We do this by communicating directly to our clients, through our blog, special event websites and by providing our subject matter expertise at industry events and tradeshows.

 

  1. What else is Universal up to in 2018?
  • Our primary focus in 2018, is to continue identifying opportunities to further reduce our clients’ operating risk and stress. One way in which we’ll achieve this is by continuing to develop and enhance our digital trip management platform, as well as expanding our presence on the ground in high risk and stress locations. This includes both our own offices, expansion of our third-party network, adding additional concierge agents at strategic locations and several other exciting initiatives, I can’t address just yet.