Incheon is the new airport in Seoul
, South Korea
, built to replace the aging Gimpo Airport
. It is located on an island just west of the city and across from the city of Incheon
, and was built between 1996 and 2000. The passenger terminal
is the largest building in Korea, and has 44 gate
s and 16 hard stand
s for aircraft: the three cargo terminals together can handle 1.2 million tons of freight a year.
Incheon is often compared to Kansai International Airport, but there are some major differences. Kansai is definitely better integrated into the regional transit network: the authorities at Incheon have yet to complete the rail link from the airport to the city, and won't have it finished until 2008. The only way to get to and from the airport is on a special expressway, or by connecting from the train to a ferry. On the other hand, the airport itself takes up only half of Incheon's island: the other half is used by the Airport Town Square, a special community designed for airport employees.
Also like Kansai, you have to pay a special airport tax every time you depart. For foreigners, this comes out to 15,000 won: Koreans, however, have to pay 25,000. Why? "Tourism development." Go figure.
The airport's two largest tenants are Korean Air and Asiana Airlines. Delta Airlines, Northwest Airlines, and United Airlines fly transpacific service.