Incheon Airport Could’ve Been Named Sejong Airport

What comes to mind when you think about flying to Korea? Most of you probably thought of Incheon Airport, right? Incheon Airport, which has established as a global airport beyond just Korea, is a great source of pride for many Koreans.

Did you know that Incheon Airport could have been named Sejong Airport?

Since we’re all used to Incheon Airport’s name, Sejong Airport may sound a bit strange. However, it’s not rare for airports to be named after historical or famous figures. For example, in the US, there are airports named after former US Presidents: John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, and George Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston.

Now, if you’re curious about how Incheon Airport got its name, it sure wasn’t as easy as simply naming it after the city of Incheon. Read on to find out the story behind Incheon Airport’s name!

A public vote to name the new airport… Sejong Airport ranked 1st

It all dates back to 1992 when construction for Incheon Airport began. At that time, New Airport Construction Headquarters held a public contest to name the new airport. As a result, 586 names were gathered from 1,644 applicants. The name that ranked 1st was “Sejong Airport” with 101 votes.

Now, curious as what rank “Incheon Airport” was? To many people’s surprise, “Yeongjong Airport” and “Incheon Airport,” which represent Incheon’s locality, ranked 6th and 8th, respectively.

However, the name “Sejong Airport” wasn’t adopted just because it ranked 1st in votes. The New Millennium Preparation Committee, an advisory group directly under the Office of the President, opposed and proposed “Incheon Millennium International Airport,” which delayed the naming process.

In May 1993, the Ministry of Land and Maritime Affairs announced three shortlisted names after gathering opinions from Cheong Wa Dae, Incheon City Council, Ministry of Culture, and newspaper editors: (1) Sejong Airport, (2) Seoul–Yeongjong Airport, and (3) Incheon Airport.

While there were differing opinions, there was a critical moment that led to the decision of adopting the name “Incheon Airport.” In 1996, the Incheon International Airport Naming Committee, which comprised Incheon citizens, submitted 600,000 signatures from its local residents. With these efforts and international practices which name airports after their regions, the new airport was finally decided to be named Incheon International Airport.

Story behind the name of Yeongjongdo, Incheon Airport’s island air base

There is another interesting story about the name of the region near Incheon Airport. Yeongjongdo where Incheon Airport was built was called Jayeondo in the old days. It means an island of purple swallows. FYI, Yeongjongdo means an island with a long history of lineage.

Taking a linguistic approach to naming an airport is interesting to say the least. “Swallows flying from an island with a long history of lineage” sounds like an airport where airplanes land and take off day in, day out. Furthermore, Eungdo north of Yeongjongdo was called an island of hawks, and Yongyudo connected to Yeongjongdo also means an island where dragons roam. It makes us think it was not a coincidence that Incheon Airport is located here. In fact, even those who were opposed to the location of Incheon Airport at that time were later amazed by this historical coincidence.

Today, Incheon Airport is growing with its region and contributing to promoting the geographical significance of Incheon around the world. Keep your eye out on Incheon Airport’s efforts to enhance the brand value of Korea beyond just Incheon!

Incheon Airport’s New Vision 2030+ Overcoming VUCA

Have you ever heard of VUCA?

It stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity. It is often mentioned as a characteristic of the modern business environment. This phenomenon occurs in not just business, but across politics, economics and society at large.

VUCA shows the unpredictable nature of the world. No one could have predicted that COVID-19 which occurred last year would change our lives like it has. VUCA will accelerate as the 4th Industrial Revolution gains momentum. However, as rapidly as our environment changes, it would be a bad idea to plan nothing just because it is difficult to predict the future.

Incheon Airport has established its vision to wisely navigate through the era of VUCA and a strategy system to implement it. This post will introduce a vision newly established for 2030 by Incheon Airport marking its 20th anniversary!

Is a vision necessary?

Before explaining Incheon Airport’s new vision, it would be better to check what a vision means.

What is a vision? Why is it important?

A vision is a future a company wants to achieve. The more ambitious a vision is the more abstract it may become, and might sound like a pipe dream.

However, a vision serves as the link that connects a company’s present and future and serves as the driving force in an organization by presenting the values the company must seek. Given that a strategy can be established with a clear vision, like how we determine getting somewhere when we have a destination, a vision serves as a guide that directs a company.

A dive into Incheon Airport’s New Vision 2030+!

Marking its 20th anniversary this year, Incheon Airport is taking on innovation and challenge for new growth.

What is 2030 New Vision, which will guide Incheon Airport?

“We Connect Lives, Cultures and the Future”


Incheon Airport’s new vision for 2030 captures its ambitions of growing as a global connecting platform that increases value in life and leads the future.

Let’s take a look at these three themes, shall we?

(1) Connect Lives: A people-centered airport creating new value in life

Incheon Airport is becoming more digitalized so that travelers can use the airport safely and easily. It will reduce departure times, introduce various digital technologies (e.g. digital healthcare, smart showrooms, AR/VR technologies), and provide more services you can experience at the airport. As the most important thing is passenger safety, Incheon Airport continues its reputation of no defect, no interruption, and no accident with its smart safety platform. Sustainable growth is another value that you cannot miss. The airport will introduce eco-friendly green mobility to minimize impact on the environment and accelerate efforts to create jobs and boost the economy.

(2) Connect Cultures: A graceful airport with a cultural network beyond just a hub

Incheon Airport’s network power connecting the world is getting stronger. Incheon Airport aims to achieve 136 million annual passengers, 250 destination cities, and 100 slots per hour by 2030, expand network connections, and position itself as an airport that can communicate with various global cultures. Beyond simply improving the quality of passenger services, it is aiming to become a graceful airport that provides new values through a comprehensive cultural belt encompassing art, economy, and region.

(3) Connect the Future: A future airport pioneering new areas and paradigm innovations

To get ahead in the future, an airport must not rest on its present day laurels, but constantly pursue new advances across various areas. Incheon Airport will take a step from two dimensional transportation based on roads and railways to three dimensional transportation, such as UAM and Verti-Hub, to implement leading digital innovation and next-gen mobility. Moreover, Incheon Airport will build infrastructure which sets forth global standards in airport facilities and continue to expand its economic territory by exporting its airport platform.

What will Incheon Airport be like in 2030? Incheon Airport will spare no effort to achieve its vision to become a global airport as well as a hub of culture and economy in Northeast Asia.

We are looking forward to your support and encouragement for Incheon Airport’s transformation from overcoming COVID-19 to realizing its new vision!