South Korean aviation was put on hold for 35 minutes to assist students taking an English exam.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport (MOLIT) of South Korea stopped all aircraft operations throughout the country from 1305 to 1340 local time on 14 November. During this stoppage, all aircraft landings at domestic airports were prohibited, unless exceptional emergency conditions. MOLIT said that 40 international and 118 domestic and regional flights were affected.

Halting the flights is a noise control measure implemented during the English listening test, part of an all-day long national university entrance examination in which approximately 550,000 students took part in 1,185 test sites nationwide. The exam is regarded as paramount to being accepted into a prestigious university, which in turn, is viewed as crucial to gaining a good job in the future.

MOLIT’s measures are intended to help out students, so they do not fail the test. Government offices, business and Seoul’s stock market adjusted their working hours in order to reduce road traffic and help the students arrive to the examination centres on time. Local police vehicles were also on standby, if needed, to help late running students.

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