Incheon International Airport Corporation


Overcoming the impossible

Incheon Airport, completed after surviving many challenges and oppositions

Secret of Incheon International Airport

Behind its success, Incheon International Airport has a unique history. Before the current achievements, there have been numerous disapprovals from the start such as the controversy about the construction scale. The project had to overcome negative public opinions such as on the large site area and high amount of investment.

  • Need to construct a new airport

    From the initial development stages, the plan was to expand the airport phase by phase making the best use of the topographic advantages of the Yeongjong-Yongyu area. However, at that time, many did not expect the demand to increase to the current level and insisted on reduction of the business scale. Contrary to such views, Incheon International Airport's numbers of operated airplanes, passenger flights, cargo flights, and operating carriers are increasing steadily after its opening.

    Opposing views

    “The country should ease its policy of investing into construction of a new airport and reduce the current scale of the airport project by considering expansion of the Gimpo Airport and coming up with good strategies that suit the current economic conditions.”

    “The site area for the new airport is 56 mil ㎡ (5,600 ha), which is twice that of the world's biggest O'Hare International Airport in Chicago and five times that of Asia's biggest Kansai International Airport in Japan. It is worrisome whether the new airport can be maintained as the initial plans after its completion.”

    “The scale of the new airport construction project must be reduced due to reasons such as the difficulties in procurement and supply.”

  • Yeongjong Island, the most optimal site for an airport

    Yeongjong Island, which is now evaluated as the most favorable airport site, was viewed by many at the time as unfit for an airport site due to reasons such as the construction cost, airport size, natural disasters, potential environmental damage, etc. However, considering many factors including the topographic structure, noise level, and distance from central city areas, it is apparent that Yeongjong Island was the most optimal choice for the new airport's site.

    Opposing views

    “The wrong site selection, acceleration of imbalanced population distribution, and Tsunami can make the risk of airplane accidents due to natural disasters as well as environmental damage.”

    “Yeongjong Island, a candidate for the new airport site, has various geological and environmental problems.”

  • Safe Incheon International Airport

    Airplanes taking off and landing at Incheon International Airport do not pass through main habitats of migratory birds. Up to the present, there has been no issue of airplane damage or impact on airplane flight by migratory birds. Also, the number of foggy days is less than half that of the Gimpo Airport. Incheon International Airport is operating the high-tech instrument landing system that enables pilots to take off and land with a visual range of only 75 meters using CAT-lllb, which means that the impact of fog on operation of the airport is negligible.

    Opposing views

    “Possibility of collision with migratory birds (bird strike), a high number of foggy days, possibility of Tsunami attack”

    “Weather specialists worry that it can suffer a great deal more from fog than the Gimpo Airport.”

    “The new airport can not only have a bad impact on the environment but also have safety issues.”

  • Incheon Airport, built with consideration for the environment

    Some had expected that the new airport would cause environmental damage and suffer tremendous consequences, but from the beginning, Incheon Airport was constructed with much consideration for the environment. Damage on the environment by construction of the airport turned out to be insignificant, and such worries unnecessary. Also, efforts were made in order to minimize environmental damage such as installing the floating matters outflow prevention structure around the construction and dredging sites.

    Opposing views

    “Reclamation of the tidal land destroys wintering sites of migratory birds and internationally protected endangered bird species and habitats of marine animals.”

    “Floating matters and other matters harmful to the human body such as lead that occur from dredging and reclamation can destroy the ecosystem.”

    “The new airport construction plan must be scrapped because tremendous consequences are expected due to environmental damage.”