Phase 1 (1992 ~ 2001)
In 1992, Yeongjong Island on the Yellow Sea became different.
With seawall construction and site work, the long journey of eight years and five months had started. The first phase construction was substantial in scale with all of Korea's advanced construction methods put together for use.
With completion of Terminal 1, Runways 1 and 2, aprons, and various ancillary facilities, Incheon Airport took its first step toward becoming a global airport that can compete with top airports around the world.
Runways 1 and 2
3,750 x 60m
(2.3 miles × 0.03 miles)
5 trillion, 632.3 bil. won
(4,841 mil. USD)
- Flight capacity 330,000 per year
- Cargo capacity 2.7 mil. tons
- Passenger capacity 30 mil. per year
- Airport Railroad Express Land purchase / Partial infrastructure
Phase 1 construction
- Construction Period 101 months
11.7 mil. ㎡
(government subsidy 40%) 5 tril, 632.3 bil. won
(4.8 bil. USD)
(Terminal 1) 60 Terminal
Attached Aprons (gate)
F: 6 E: 25 D: 7 C: 6
- Remote Aprons
- Attached Aprons (gate)
No. of Allocated
Equipment Units 2.53 mil. per year
- Passenger Capacity 30 mil. per year
- Construction Workforce 13.8 mil. per year
- Cargo Terminal 129,000㎡ (12.9 ha)
- Navigational Aids CAT-lll
- Flight Capacity 330,000 per year
- Cargo Capacity 2.7 mil. tons
- Parking Spaces 16,591
- Cargo Aprons 24 Cargo Aprons
(3,750×60m / 2.3 × 0.03 miles)
Phase 1 construction overview
|Construction Period||1992.11 ~ 2001.03 (101 months)|
Terminal 1: 57,000㎡ (5.7 ha)
Runways 1 and 2
60 passenger aprons, 24 cargo aprons
|Project Cost||5 tril 632.3 bil. won (4.84 bil. USD)|
1992.06.16 Announcement of the new metropolitan airport construction project
1996.05.23 Commencement of Terminal 1 construction
2001.03.29 Opening of Incheon International Airport
|Flight Capacity||330,000 per year|
|Cargo Capacity||2.7 mil. tons|
|Passenger Capacity||30 mil. per year|
|Airport Railroad Express||Land purchase, partial infrastructure|
Photo Gallery 1page
New Airport City
Considering the international situations and prospect of Korean reunification, Incheon International Airport needed to establish a city that can support operation of the airport in its playing the role as the hub airport in Northeast Asia. The New Airport City, developed with such an objective, will play various roles in exchange of human, physical, and information resources; airport support; handling of ripple effects, etc. The New Airport City is a city outside the airport noise range, built on the sea facing the water with its back to the mountains. It is a garden city which has a green area ratio of 43% and adopts the Tele-monitoring System (TMS), a system that automatically manages the city’s environment. Also, the 40m-(131.2 ft) wide east-west main roads, the 30m (98.4 ft)-wide circular roads, and the local roads within the city combine to form the grid and cul-de-sac(deadend) layouts to exclude the through traffic.
International Business Complex - 1
Major airports in other countries pursue development of the surrounding areas in addition to playing the central role in air transportation, from the initial stages of their construction. The goal of such development is to provide various services for international businesses and leisure and vitalize a variety of activities within the airport district.
Incheon International Airport’s International Business Complex (IBC) was constructed so that the airport can become a hub airport that is worthy of its reputation functioning to facilitate international trades and advanced information system.
With completion of IBC-1 (165,000m2) (16.5 ha) which contains hotels, convention centers, apartments, shopping malls, etc., Incheon International Airport took a step forward to becoming an international business hub.
During the phase 1 construction, a network of access roads was established in order to facilitate passenger flow into the airport after opening of the airport in 2001. In total, 82km (51 mile) of paved roads, which consist of two-to-eight lanes in both ways in preparation for future passenger increase, were constructed.
Baggage handling system (BHS)
The baggage handling system, a facility that delivers passengers baggage safely to the airplanes, was the most noticed facility during the phase 1 construction. The BHS handles all kinds of baggage in the airport in a completely automated way for convenience of passengers. The full length of the BHS completed in the phase 1 construction is 21km (13.0 mile).
Main Control tower
The control tower plays a decisive role for the airport operation and safety of passengers by directly controlling takeoffs and landings of airplanes through communication with airplanes in the air and on the ground.
The main control tower located in the center of Incheon International Airport is a state-of-the-art building structure equipped with a highly advanced information communication system, capable of operating continuously for 24 hours.
The control tower is made in an octagonal steel framed reinforced concrete structure and consists of one underground and 22 above-ground floors. It gained attention of the world during its construction for being the third highest tower in the world.
Cargo terminal and cargo aprons : Area: 129,000m2 (12.9 ha) / Construction period: 1998.5-2000.11
The cargo terminal is a privately financed facility that connects aircrafts and the on-land transportation system for smooth transportation, storage, and handling of all cargo that enters and leaves Korea through Incheon International Airport. During the phase 1 construction, 11 cargo terminal buildings and two cargo warehouse buildings were constructed for cargo loading, classification, and search.
Also, 24 cargo aprons were constructed during the phase 1 construction to facilitate operation of cargo airplanes.
The aprons are built on the total area of 1,203,000m2 (120.3 ha) with 44 boarding gates (attached aprons) and 16 remote aprons, capable of accommodating 60 airplanes parked at the same time. The four parallel taxiways for the aprons are built to remove any interference between very large code F aircrafts such as Boeing 747 in their ground movements.
Runways 1 and 2
Through the phase 1 construction, two long runways (3750x60m)(2.3x0.04 mile) were constructed. The distance between the runways is 414m, which allows simultaneous takeoff for VFR flights. The pavement thickness of the runways is 105cm, which gives the runways rigidity that allows them to withstand very large aircrafts that weigh up to 600 tons.
Traffic Center (Size: 250,000m2 (25 ha) / Construction period: 1997.4-2001.8)
The Traffic Center was constructed in front of Terminal 1 in order to smooth the traffic flow to the terminal.
The Traffic Center’s form represents an airplane or a lucky bird, symbolizing the center’s role of connecting the sky and the land. The center, a hybrid structure consisting of three above-ground and two underground floors, contains station buildings to accommodate the railroads coming in from the metropolitan areas, about 5,000 parking facilities, and convenient facilities for passengers and resident workers.
Terminal 1 (Size: 503,000m2 (50.3 ha) / Construction period: 1992.11-2001.03)
Terminal 1 was constructed into the scale of 503,000m2 (50.3 ha) in total floor area with two underground and four above-ground floors. It was the largest in size in Korea at the time among single structures. The construction used 247,000m2 (24.7 ha)of concrete, an amount needed to build about 4,000,106m2 (40.0 ha) apartment units, and 94,000 tons of iron frames, an amount enough to build 13 Eiffel Towers (length: 1.06km (0.7 mile), width: 149m (488.8 ft), height: 33m (108.7ft))
As for the design of the structure, the terminal is built in the form of Korean traditional palace gate in order to emphasize its role as the gate into the country. The unique roof structure, which is a modern interpretation of the curvatures in Korean architecture, was highly evaluated.
The terminal was designed in smooth curves, which provides sense of directions and ease of movement to passengers and facilitates management of aprons for the aircrafts.
In addition, for maximum safety, about 15,000 steel piles were driven into the rock layers up to an average depth of 40m (131.2 ft), which enables the airport to withstand earthquakes of magnitude 7.
ICAO Aerodome Reference Code
ICO Aerodome Reference Code is A-to-F classification of aircrafts by size based on the wing span and the outer main gear wheel span. Airbus A380, which is known as the biggest passenger aircraft, is a code F aircraft.
Aircraft types based on size criteria
|Code||Wing Span||Outer Main Gear Wheel Span||Typical Airplanes|
|C||24m but <36m||6m but <9m||B737, A320|
|D||36m but <52m||9m but <14m||A300, B767|
|E||52m but <65m||9m but <14m||B747|
|F||65m but <80m||14m but <16m||A380|