Location is highly important for a industry. As a commercial area booms in a good location and a booming commercial area attracts people, a location can determine the past, present, and even the future.
In this sense, are you not curious about Incheon Airport’s location? Judging by its name, it is clear that the airport is located in a city called Incheon. In that case, where is Incheon? It is near an island called Yeongjong Island. Today, we would like to introduce the story of Yeongjong Island.
The Past of Yeongjong Island: Destined to Become an Airport?
“Island with many purple swallows”
This is the meaning of Yeongjong Island’s former name, “Jayeon Island” It was later renamed Yeongjong Island, meaning “an island with a long floor.” Therefore, some interpret that the purple swallows represent airplanes while the long floor represents the runways!
To the west of Yeongjong Island is Yongyu Island, “the island where dragons roam,” to its south is Muui Island, “the island of dancing clothes,” and to its north is Si Island, “the island of fast arrows.” As such, interpreting the names of Yeongjong Island and its adjacent islands is quite amazing and fun as it seems to suggest that our ancestors named them as if they had predicted a long time ago that Yeongjong Island would become Korea’s largest gateway.
What is it that makes Yeongjong Island a place destined to be the location for an airport? Yeongjong Island is Korea’s 6th largest island. Its original area was smaller, but a large-scale reclamation project connecting 4 islands was performed to construct Incheon Airport, which made the large island we know today. Half of this large island is used by Incheon Airport.
▲ Satellite photo in 1985 / Source: Google Earth
▲ Satellite photo in 2020 / Source: Google
The Present and Future of Yeongjong Island: Unleashing its Potential as Airport Economic Zone!
Yeongjong Island, which is one island made of 4 different islands housing Incheon Airport, is now transforming again into not just an air travel gateway but also an economic and tourism zone! Currently, Yeongjong International City is being constructed on Yeongjong Island, which is designated as one of the Incheon Free Economic Zones. Once developed, it will become a new city of more than 200,000 people! It is being promoted to become a city of housing, industry, tourism, and leisure based on Incheon Airport and its marine resources. If developed according to the blueprints, the Airport Economic Zone will be established, creating a broad economic ecosystem around Incheon Airport.
There are largely two directions in which to move to help Incheon Airport develop into a hub in Northeast Asia. The first is an Airport Industrial Park in which educational institutions and manufacturing/research facilities are gathered, and the second is Tourism Park where families can enjoy everything, from resorts to leisure facilities, based on the marine environment.
(1) Distribution centers & educational institutions
A large distribution center will be built in Yeongjong International City. This center, which is scheduled to be complete in 2021, is expected to play a big role in promoting air logistics and its associated industries. If Yeongjong Island develops into a city of state-of-the-art logistics, Incheon Airport’s role as a logistical hub will be strengthened even further.
In addition, it is solidifying its footing as an airport industrial park as it is home to educational institutions like Boeing Operations Center which trains pilots and P&W Aircraft Engine Maintenance Center which repairs aircraft parts and tests their performance.
Meanwhile, the Airport Industrial Park is being developed as a leisure tourism city with resort complexes combined with foreigner casinos, hotels, convention centers, and shopping malls as well as marinas.
The most famous and largest resort complex is Paradise City. It opened in April 2017 and serves customers with its 5-star hotel and Korea’s largest casino (8726 m2). As the first resort complex in Northeast Asia where visitors can enjoy tourism, cultural experiences, relaxation, shopping, and entertainment all in one place, guests can also enjoy various services of the hotels, restaurants, clubs, and spas!
Five-star hotels, casinos, and Paramount Theme Park will be established in the Inspire Integrated Resort, which is scheduled to open in 2022. The Paramount Theme Park will feature various attractions based on the theme of Paramount Pictures’ blockbuster hits such as Mission Impossible, Transformers, and Star Trek. It will have a different appeal from Paradise City, which is focused on shopping, tourism, and cultural experience.
(3) Marine leisure facilities
Not only resorts but also leisure facilities based on the marine environment are being developed. Yongyu Ocean View Project is being carried out, constructing cable cars connecting Eurwangni Beach with Yongyu Wangsan Marina, which was used for a yacht competition during the 2014 Incheon Asian Games. Muui Solaire Resort, where visitors can enjoy a hotel, water park, and marine theme park, is also under way.
Today, we have looked at Yeongjong Island, the island that is home to Incheon Airport. How was it? Aren’t you curious about what the future holds for the island which boasts Incheon Airport, one of the greatest airports in the world, while constantly developing as a promising city? We hope Incheon Airport will also unleash its potential on Yeongjong Island, an island of various appeals. J