Incheon International Airport
Incheon International Airport is located in Incheon, South Korea. The airport is the vicinity of the South Korean capital city of Seoul. It is situated on a piece of artificial land between the Yeongjong and Yongyu Islands. Originally separate islands, Yeongjong and Yongu were reclaimed for a construction project. The facility is connected to the South Korean mainland via the Incheon International Airport Expressway. Not far from Incheon is Gimpo International Airport. The terminal has 74 boarding gates, with 44 located in the main terminal. Concourse A has 30 boarding gates. The airport can be accessed by the Yeongjong Bridge and the Seoul Subway. Originally, lines five and seven connected service to Incheon. By the end of 2010, the two, four, and six lines were extended as connections. In 1988, Seoul was the host city of the year’s Summer Olympic games. Since then, international air traffic had increased. Gimpo International Airport could not handle the sudden spike in international air traffic. Four years later, the master plan was approved and construction of the Incheon Airport commenced. At the same time, the Yeongjong and Yongu Islands were reclaimed, revealing that the airport was indeed the construction project. The airport took eight years to build, followed by an additional six months due to tests. In March 2001, the airport was officially open.
History of the Airport
After the airport’s opening, there was a project to expand the airport. Originally, this was to be done in three phases. A fourth was added later on. Each phase would be due to an increase of more travelers once completed. Phase one was completed with the opening of the airport. The second phase began in 2002. Originally slated for completion in December 2008, phase two was completed just a few months earlier to handle passenger flow due to the Summer Olympic Games that same year. During the second phase, a third parallel 4,000-meter runway and a 13-hectare cargo terminal was also constructed. A new concourse was added to the main passenger building. After completion, the airport had a capacity of 410,000 flights and 44,000,000 passengers. Many international flights were moved to the new concourse. Also, many upgrades were made to the airport’s equipment. This included a multi-tracking radar, an Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast system with the Runway Incursion Monitoring and Conflict Alert System function. These upgrades were intended to help reduce the blind spots during inclement weather.
The South Korean government is planning the last two phases by adding a second passenger terminal on the northern end of the airport. At the same time, they plan on expanding its existing cargo terminal and additional infrastructure. The “Starline” train, an underground subway system, will connect with the first terminal and the main concourse. Once the third phase is complete, the passenger capacity will be approximately 62 million and 5.8 million tons of cargo. Upon completion of phase four, the airport will have the ability to handle over 100 million passengers and and 7 million tons of cargo. In addition, 2 passenger terminals, 128 gates, 4 satellite concourses, and 5 runways will be included. After the final phase is complete, Incheon will likely be considered one of the world’s top ten most-busiest airports.