Phase-by-Phase Construction of Incheon Airport at a Glance

Anyone who visited Incheon Airport would be surprised by its giant scale. Surely, the facilities must have been built over a long period of time. Since its opening in 2001, Incheon Airport has increased its facilities according to the increasing demand for air travel.

The picture above is an aerial view of Incheon Airport, where you can see its facilities in different colors according to their construction phase. As you can see, Incheon Airport’s construction was completed over the course of four phases. Let’s find out more about phase-by-phase construction of Incheon Airport from phase 1 to phase 4 and take a brief look into what facilities were built, including the passenger terminals and runways, and what effect they have brought about.

Construction Phases 1 to 3 (1992–2017)

Incheon Airport that served roughly 40 million passengers at the beginning of its construction phase has now turned into a giant hub airport that serves over 160 million passengers. Let’s look into the history of its construction from phase 1.

[Construction Phase 1 (1992–2001)]

Yeongjong Island was finally decided as the land for the airport and the big run of eight years and four months started with the construction of a seawall and the site construction. Construction phase 1 was a large-scale project that incorporated almost every cutting-edge construction methods of South Korea. Over this period, the firm foundation of Incheon Airport was built through the construction of passenger terminal 1, runways 1 & 2, aprons, and other facilities.

[Construction Phase 2 (2002–2008)]

Through construction phase 2, the concourse, runway 3, and cargo terminal were constructed, and other facilities were extended. Incheon Airport was able to increase the capacity of its passengers and cargo during this phase, becoming a major hub airport in Northeast Asia.

[Construction Phase 3 (2009–2017)]

Incheon Airport’s status began to soar during construction phase 3 with passenger terminal 2, opening the age of multiple international terminals. After the successful opening of passenger terminal 2 through construction phase 3, Incheon Airport became able to accommodate 77 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo annually.

Construction Phase 4 (2017–2024)

Construction phase 4, with aims to make Incheon Airport one of three mega-airports of the world, was to expand passenger terminal 2 and construct runway 4, aprons, and the transportation network.

Costing a total of KRW 4 trillion 840.5 billion, it was expected to generate an added value of about KRW 13 trillion beside production and create more than 60,000 jobs, largely contributing to the national economy. Let’s take a look at the details.

Expansion of Passenger Terminal 2

With the extension of passenger terminal 2, Incheon Airport will become a giant hub airport that can accommodate a total of 160 million passengers per year. It will be the first airport in the world that has two passenger terminals that can accommodate over 50 million passengers.

Not only the extension of the space, but also the customized services using the technologies of the fourth industrial revolution, such as big data, IoT and VR/AR, will be introduced and its “airport in the park” where the natural environment and the buildings will be harmonized will be realized to provide users with more convenient, safe, and fast airport services.

Establishment of Runway 4

When the establishment of runway 4 increases the times of flight operation from 90 to 107 per hour, more passengers and cargos can be delivered and the operation during the peak hours will be stabilized. Additionally, the expansion of the rapid exit taxiway* will cut the occupancy time of the flights, maximizing the efficiency of facilities.

* Rapid exit taxiway

The passage to enable an airplane that has landed on the runway to get out of the runway without slowing down enough

Extension of Aprons, etc.

There are other constructions to extend and reduce various facilities are in operation. The number of aprons will be increased from 210 to 285, the link road between terminal 1 and 2 will be reduced from 15.1 km to 13.2 km, parking spots will be increased from 30,000 to 40,000, and two access roads to passenger terminal 2 will be expanded at the same time.

The aforementioned details comprise the phase-by-phase construction of Incheon Airport. Incheon Airport has made constant efforts to provide the best airport services with a greater vision. Currently, the demand for passengers is low due to the COVID-19 crisis, but Incheon Airport will follow its early plan, believing that the crisis will be over soon. Please show your support for Incheon Airport so that it can complete construction phase 4 and contribute to the national economy!

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