중앙데일리

Officials: Drunk businessman delayed flight 1 hour

Dec 06,2007
Park Yen-cha
BUSAN ― A domestic flight bound for Gimpo from the southern city of Gimhae was delayed for more than an hour on Monday by a drunken man, later identified as one of the major financial backers of Roh Moo-hyun’s presidential campaign in 2002, Gimhae airport officials said.
He was also one of the “special corporate delegates” who accompanied Roh to Pyongyang in October for the second inter-Korean summit.
The man, Park Yen-cha, 62, is the chairman of Tae Kwang Industry, a local shoe manufacturer that owns a giant shoe factory in Vietnam called the Tae Kwang Vina Group plant.
Park smelled heavily of alcohol when he boarded Korean Air flight KE1104 at 8:40 a.m., said officials, who declined to be identified. As soon as he took his seat in business class, he lowered his backrest and fell asleep.
A female flight attendant went to him and advised that he pull up his backrest for the short takeoff, the officials said. But Park responded by shouting at her, using foul language.
Some 120 passengers in the plane were startled by the sudden commotion, airport officials said.
As the flight attendant left to report the disturbance, Park continued to yell. He went on yelling despite a warning from the captain through the PA system that they will have to ask him to leave the plane if he continued.
The captain steered the plane back to the gate, and pulled him out of the plane. It was 30 minutes after the official departure time.
An additional 30 minutes were used to replace the fuel that the plane used to cross the runway from the apron. The plane finally took off at 9:47 a.m.
Park continued to scream at airport employees that he did nothing wrong until his chauffeured sedan came to take him away at noon.
According to the airport law, anyone who creates a disturbance for other passengers or causes a flight delay will be fined up to than 5 million won ($5,400) after a police investigation.
But Park was never sent to the police.
“We did not hear from the airport that they had a problem,” said a police officer.
Park, who is also a publicity ambassador for Gimhae International Airport, could not be reached for comment.


By Kang Jin-kwon JoongAng Ilbo [mina@joongang.co.kr]



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