Incheon International Airport

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Incheon International Airport

Incheon Gukje Gonghang
Incheon International Airport.jpg
Aerial view of Terminal 1
WMO: 47113
Airport type Public
Owner Government of the Republic of Korea
Operator Incheon International Airport Corporation
Serves Seoul Metro Area
Location Jung District, Incheon, South Korea
Hub for
Elevation AMSL 23 ft / 7 m
Coordinates 37°27′48″N 126°26′24″E / 37.46333°N 126.44000°E / 37.46333; 126.44000Coordinates: 37°27′48″N 126°26′24″E / 37.46333°N 126.44000°E / 37.46333; 126.44000
ICN is located in South Korea
Location in South Korea
Direction Length Surface
ft m
15R/33L 12,303 3,750 Asphalt
15L/33R 12,303 3,750 Asphalt
16/34 13,123 4,000 Asphalt
Number Length Surface
ft m
H1 63 19 Concrete
Statistics (2013)
Aircraft movements 271,224
Passengers 41,482,828
Tonnes of cargo 2,464,385
Statistics from IIAC[1]

Incheon International Airport (IIA) (IATA: ICNICAO: RKSI) (Korean: 인천국제공항, sometimes referred to as Seoul-Incheon International Airport) is the largest airport in South Korea, the primary airport serving the Seoul Capital Area, and one of the largest and busiest airports in the world. Since 2005, it has been rated the best airport worldwide by Airports Council International every year.[2] It is also rated as the world's cleanest airport and the world's best international transit airport by Skytrax.[3]

The airport has a golf course, spa, private sleeping rooms, ice skating rink, a casino, indoor gardens and a Museum of Korean Culture. Airport authorities claim that average departure and arrival takes 19 minutes and 12 minutes respectively, as compared to worldwide average of 60 minutes and 45 minutes respectively, ranking it among of the fastest airports in the world for customs processing.[4] Its duty-free shopping mall has been rated the world's best for three years in a row in 2013 by Business Traveller.[5] Incheon International Airport also claims that it has only a 0.0001% baggage mishandling rate.[6]

Located 48 km (30 mi) west of Seoul, the capital and the largest city of South Korea, Incheon International Airport is the main hub for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, and Polar Air Cargo. The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia. Incheon International Airport is also currently Asia's eighth busiest airport in terms of passengers, the world's fourth busiest airport by cargo traffic, and the world's eighth busiest airport in terms of international passengers in 2014. In that year, 40,785,953 international passengers used the airport.[7]

The airport opened for business in early 2001 to replace the older Gimpo International Airport, which now serves mostly domestic destinations plus shuttle flights to alternate airports in China, Japan, and Taiwan.


Incheon International Airport is located west of Incheon's city center, on an artificially created piece of land between Yeongjong and Yongyu islands. The two islands were originally separated by shallow sea. That area between the two islands was reclaimed for the construction project, effectively connecting the once separate Yeongjong and Yongyu islands. The reclaimed area as well as the two islands are all part of Jung-gu, an administrative district of Incheon.

It is connected to the mainland by Incheon International Airport Expressway (Expressway 130), a part of which is Yeongjong Bridge. The expressway also connects Gimpo International Airport to provide connections between domestic flight service with international air traffic, an advantage that makes it much easier to travel from southern Korean regions to Incheon, and then to airports all over the globe. Incheon Bridge serves as the second path to the southern part of Incheon city from October 2009. The airport is served by frequent bus service from all parts of South Korea as well as by traditional ferry service between Yeongjong pier and Incheon. Airport limousines operate around the clock from Seoul to Incheon, and several backup highway buses escort people from places within and outside Seoul.

The Incheon International Airport Railroad connects Incheon International Airport to Seoul Station in downtown Seoul. Non-Stop Express trains 43 minutes, and regular trains which stops at all stations takes 53 minutes to Seoul Station.

The airport holds an unbreakable record of being ranked the Best Airport Worldwide for 7 consecutive years by the Airports Council International (ACI)'s Airport Service Quality award from year 2005 to 2011, and was also rated the world's best among airports of its size (25-40m) and region (Asia-Pacific) in year 2012 due to the institution's decision to discontinue the Best Airport Worldwide category.

Seoul Incheon International Airport's terminal has 76 boarding gates altogether, with 44 in the main terminal and 30 in Concourse A.


Location of Incheon International Airport on reclaimed land joining Yeongjong and Yongyu Islands

After the Seoul Olympics of 1988, international air traffic to Korea increased. In the 1990s, it became apparent that Gimpo International Airport could not cope with the increase in air traffic. To reduce the load on Gimpo International Airport, construction of the Incheon airport began in November 1992. It was constructed on reclaimed land between Yeongjong Island and Youngyu Island, and took eight years to construct, with an additional six months to test. The airport was officially opened in March 2001.

Initially, there were numerous problems, mostly involving baggage handling, which required the system to be operated semi-automatically. Most of the problems were fixed within a month, and the airport began to operate normally.

Air traffic increased markedly, and by early 2002 due to 2002 FIFA World Cup and 2002 Asian Games, it became apparent that the airport would be saturated by 2006. As a result, the construction of the second phase was initiated in February 2002. Originally, the construction was supposed to have ended by December 2008. Due to the Beijing Olympics in 2008, however, the construction schedule was modified to allow the construction to end by July 2008.

On 15 November 2006, the Airbus A380 landed at the airport as part of the first leg of its certification trip. Tests on the runways, taxiways, and ramps showed that the airport could handle the aircraft.

To further upgrade service, Incheon and major Korean logistics firm Hanjin Corporation (parent company of the Korean Flag Carrier, Korean Air) agreed on 10 January 2008 to build a nine-story hospital near the airport. Once construction is complete in 2011, the Yeongjong Medical Centre is expected to serve nearby residents and some of Korea's annual 30,000 medical tourists.[8]


Incheon Airport from the Air, 2013
  • February 1992: Master plan is approved
  • November 1992: Phase I construction and site preparation are initiated
  • July 1994: North and south dikes are completed
  • March 1996: Formally named Incheon International Airport
  • May 1996: Passenger terminal construction is initiated
  • December 1996: Runway construction is initiated
  • 30 June 2000: Construction of basic components is completed
  • July 2000: Test operations begin
  • November 2000: Opening date is announced
  • 29 March 2001: Airport officially opens
  • February 2002: Phase II construction starts
  • November 2002: New passenger airline parking stands constructed (Phase 2)
  • October 2003: Construction of new cargo terminal is initiated (Phase 2)
  • November 2003: Intra Airport Transit (IAT) system construction is initiated (Phase 2)
  • December 2003: Third runway construction is initiated (Phase 2)
  • June 2004: Passenger concourse construction is initiated (Phase 2)
  • April 2005: Final construction of passenger concourse (Phase 2)
  • March 2007: Airport railroad starts operation
  • June 2008: Phase II construction is completed

Construction stages

New satellite building under construction

The airport was originally planned to be built in three phases, incrementally increasing airport capacity as the demand grew. This was changed, however, to four phases after the airport was opened.

Phase 1

In Phase 1, the airport had a capacity of 30 million passengers per year, and a cargo capacity of 1.7 million metric tonnes yearly. In this phase, a passenger terminal with a floor space of 496,000 square metres (5,340,000 sq ft), two parallel runways, a control tower, an administrative building, a transportation centre (the Integrated Transportation Centre, designed by Terry Farrell and Partners and Samoo Architects & Engineers), and integrated operations centre, three cargo terminals, international business centre, and a government office building were constructed.

Phase 2

Phase 2 construction began in 2002, and was originally expected to be completed in December 2008. However, in an attempt to have the airport ready for the 2008 Beijing Olympics which took place in August 2008, the schedule was modified, and Phase 2 construction was completed on 20 June 2008. During this construction phase, a third parallel 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) long runway and a 13-hectare cargo terminal area were added. A 16.5 hectare concourse connected to the main passenger building via two parallel 870 metres (2,850 ft) long underground passageways was added, with a Mitsubishi Crystal Mover shuttle train APM shuttling passengers between the concourse and the main terminal.[9]

With the completion, the airport has an annual capacity of 410,000 flights, 44,000,000 passengers, and nearly 4,500,000 metric tonnes of cargo. Many long distance foreign carriers were moved to the new concourse, with Korean Air and Asiana Airlines continuing to use the existing terminal. In addition, there were numerous equipment upgrades during the phase, including the newer and better ASDE-X with MRI (Multi Radar Tracking) function, and the ADS-B (Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast) system with the RIMCAS (Runway Incursion Monitoring and Conflict Alert System) function. The installation of four additional sets of ASDE-X antennas is planned to reduce blind spots during heavy rainfall and in preparation for the new runway.

Phase 3

Plans to invest 4 trillion by 2017 to expand Incheon International Airport. The South Korean government plans to add a second passenger terminal in the northern field of the airport, and expand its existing cargo terminal and other infrastructure. The terminals will be connected with each other by the underground "Starline" train, which currently links the first terminal and the concourse. Upon completion, Incheon International Airport will be able to handle 62 million passengers and 5.8 million tonnes of cargo a year, up from the current capacity of 44 million passengers and 4.5 million tonnes. Construction began in 2011 with completion targeted for 2017. Plans for Incheon's expansion also include adding more aprons to park planes and extending a railway line to the city centre of Seoul about 70 kilometres (43 mi) away from the airport.[10]

Phase 4

Estimated to be completed in 2020, this is the final and the ultimate construction stage. Upon completion, the airport will have two passenger terminals, four satellite concourses, 128 gates, and five parallel runways (one exclusively for cargo flights). It will be able to handle 100 million passengers and 7 million metric tonnes of cargo annually, with further possible expansions. The airport is projected to be transformed into one of the top ten busiest in the world by 2020.

Operation facilities and infrastructure

Control tower

Incheon Airport – Traffic Centre

Located at the center of the airport, the 22 story Control Tower is 100.4 metres (329 ft) tall and is illuminated 24 hours a day. On its highest floor is located a parabolic antenna that is used by the Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE) to detect all airplanes and obstacles within 5 kilometres (3.1 mi) of the tower. The upper floors are used by ground and tower controllers, while the lower floors are mostly for support operations. The control tower has a total area of 179 square meters, making it the 3rd largest in the world as of 2001.


There are three parallel paved asphalt runways in operation, 15R/33L, 15L/33R and 16/34. Runway 15R/33L and 15L/33R are each 3,750 metres (12,300 ft) long, 60 metres (200 ft) wide, and 1.05 metres (3 ft 5 in) thick. Runway 16/34 is 4,000 metres (13,000 ft) long. Runway 15R/33L is used mostly for takeoffs, while runway 15L/33R is used mostly for landings. This is evident from the amount of rubber present on each runway; runway 15L/33R has more rubber on it due to the higher number of landings. A third parallel runway (16/34), 4,000 meters long, began operation in June 2008. Landing and takeoffs of most passenger flights are done on the new runway and the existing runway 15R/33L, while runway 15L/33R is mostly used for cargo flights for its proximity with the cargo terminals. Although the runways are labelled 33 and 34, all three runways have the same heading. Once Phase 4 construction is complete, the airport will have 4 parallel runways, two of which will be 3,750 meters long, and the other two 4,000 meters long. All runways are equipped with ILS CAT IIIb at both sides to allow for operation in visibility conditions as low as 50 meters. As of the date of upgrade, Incheon International Airport was the only airport in Asia to have full ILS CAT IIIb capability. The runway lights at Incheon International Airport (as well as the taxi lights) are tied into special computers at the control tower. Air Traffic Controllers can provide progressive taxiing to an aircraft by setting the computer to manipulate the taxi and runway lights so that it will lead them to their designated gate or parking stand.


Main Terminal (To be renamed Terminal 1 after 2018)

The main passenger terminal (measuring 594,000 square metres) is the largest airport terminal in area in South Korea. The passenger terminal was designed by Curtis W. Fentress, FAIA, RIBA of Fentress Architects. It is 1,060 metres (3,480 ft) long, 149 metres (489 ft) wide, and 33 metres (108 ft) high. Its construction cost was 1.3816 trillion South Korean Won.[citation needed] The terminal has 44 boarding ports (all of which can accommodate the new Airbus A380), 50 customs inspection ports, 2 biological quarantine counters, 6 stationary and 14 portable passenger quarantine counters, 120 arrival passport inspection counters, 8 arrival security ports, 28 departure security ports, 252 check in counters, and 120 departure passport inspection counters.


The passenger concourse was completed at the end of May 2008, and all foreign airlines use this terminal as of 10 June 2008. It is connected to the Main Terminal by two parallel 870-metre (2,850 ft) long underground passageways equipped with IATs (Intra Airport Transit). It has 30 gates and six lounges (Asiana Airlines/Star Alliance, Singapore Airlines/Star Alliance, Cathay Pacific/Oneworld, Japan Airlines/Oneworld, Korean Air/SkyTeam, and China Eastern Airlines/SkyTeam).

Terminal 2 (Opening in 2018)

A new passenger terminal will be opened in 2018 and Korean Air and Skyteam will be relocated to future Terminal 2. [11]

Airlines and destinations

Passenger airlines

There are currently over 90 airlines serving ICN. The largest carrier in terms of passenger numbers is Korean Air, followed by Asiana Airlines. Although all domestic flights depart from the main terminal, international gates are separated from the domestic gates. Passengers should note that even though non-Korean (foreign) carriers started to operate from concourse A on 10 June 2008, all check-in and immigration procedures are still conducted in the main passenger terminal.

Incheon Airport serves as an east-west gateway hub between China and North America; as of July 2013, Korean Air operates between Incheon and 22 cities in Mainland China, and Asiana Airlines operates between Incheon and 21 cities in Mainland China. There had been a lack of non-stop flights between many Chinese cities and the United States, and low prices and territorial disputes between Japan and China have caused many Chinese to transit via Incheon.[12]

It also serves more Japanese airports than Japan's main international gateway, Narita International.[13]

An Orient Thai Airlines Boeing 747-200 at ICN
Inside Incheon International Airport
An Asiana Airlines Boeing 767-300 in Star Alliance livery touching down at Incheon International Airport. A Korean Air Boeing 777-200ER can be seen in the background.

Airlines Destinations Terminal/
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo A. 2(After 2018)
operated by Aurora
Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk A
AirAsia X Kuala Lumpur A
AirAsia Zest Cebu, Kalibo, Manila A
Air Astana Almaty, Astana A
Air Canada Vancouver A
Air China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Hangzhou, Hefei, Qingdao, Tianjin, Yanji
Seasonal: Chongqing
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle A. 2(After 2018)
Air India Delhi, Hong Kong A
Air Macau Macau A
Alitalia Rome-Fiumicino A. 2(After 2018)
American Airlines Dallas/Fort Worth A
Asia Atlantic Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket A
Asiana Airlines Almaty, Astana,[14] Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Busan, Cebu, Changchun, Changsha, Chengdu, Chicago-O'Hare, Chongqing, Clark, Da Nang, Dalian, Delhi, Macau, Denpasar/Bali, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Guilin, Haikou, Hangzhou, Hanoi, Harbin, Hiroshima, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jeju, Jinan, Kalibo, Khabarovsk, Koror, Kota Kinabalu, Kumamoto, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Matsuyama, Miyazaki, Nagoya-Centrair, Naha, Nanjing, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Qingdao, Rome-Fiumicino, Saipan, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Sendai, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen, Shizuoka, Siem Reap, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Takamatsu, Tashkent, Tianjin, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Toyama, Vladivostok, Weihai, Xi'an, Yancheng, Yangon, Yanji, Yantai, Yonago, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
Seasonal: Asahikawa, Nanchang, Nha Trang
Seasonal charter: Barcelona, Hailar,[15] Memanbetsu, Sapporo-Chitose,[16] Ube, Venice
Main(Future Terminal 1)
British Airways London-Heathrow A
Business Air Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chiang Mai, Krabi, Phuket A
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, Taipei-Taoyuan A
Cebu Pacific Manila
Charter: Kalibo
China Airlines Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan A. 2(After 2018)
China Eastern Airlines Changsha, Changzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Nanning, Qingdao, Shanghai-Pudong, Taiyuan, Weihai, Wuxi, Xi'an, Yancheng, Yantai, Zhengzhou A. 2(After 2018)
China Southern Airlines Beijing-Capital, Changchun, Dalian, Guangzhou, Harbin, Jiamusi, Mudanjiang, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Yanji, Zhengzhou, Wuhan
Seasonal: Nanning, Urumqi
A. 2(After 2018)
Czech Airlines Prague A. 2(After 2018)
Delta Air Lines Detroit, Seattle/Tacoma A. 2(After 2018)
Dynamic Airways Saipan A
Eastar Jet Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong, Jinan, Kota Kinabalu, Osaka-Kansai, Phuket, Siem Reap, Tokyo-Narita Main & A
Emirates Dubai-International A
Ethiopian Airlines Addis Ababa, Hong Kong A
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi A
EVA Air Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan A
Finnair Helsinki A
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta A. 2(After 2018)
Hawaiian Airlines Honolulu A
Hong Kong Express Airways Hong Kong A
Japan Airlines Tokyo-Narita A
Jeju Air Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cebu, Fukuoka, Guam, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Jiamusi, Manila, Nagoya-Centrair, Naha, Osaka-Kansai, Qingdao, Saipan, Shijiazhuang, Tokyo-Narita, Weihai, Yantai Main & A
Jet Asia Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi A
Jin Air Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Cebu, Chiang Mai, Clark, Fukuoka, Guam, Hong Kong, Honolulu (begins 19 December 2015).[17] Kota Kinabalu, Macau, Nagasaki, Naha, Osaka-Kansai, Sapporo-Chitose, Vientiane
Charter: Dalian, Medan, Shenyang, Siem Reap
Main & A
KLM Amsterdam A. 2(After 2018)
Korean Air Akita, Amsterdam, Aomori, Atlanta, Auckland, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Brisbane, Busan, Cebu, Changsha, Chiang Mai, Chicago-O'Hare, Colombo, Da Nang, Daegu, Dalian, Dallas/Fort Worth, Denpasar/Bali, Dubai-International, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guam, Guangzhou, Hakodate, Hanoi, Hefei, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Huangshan, Irkutsk, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Jeddah, Jeju, Jinan, Kagoshima, Kathmandu, Komatsu, Koror, Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kunming, Las Vegas, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Madrid, Malé, Manila, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Mumbai, Nadi, Nagoya-Centrair, Nanning, New York-JFK, Nha Trang, Niigata, Oita, Okayama, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Phnom Penh, Phuket, Prague, Qingdao, Riyadh, Rome-Fiumicino, San Francisco, São Paulo-Guarulhos, Sapporo-Chitose, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Shenzhen, Siem Reap, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Tashkent, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Tianjin, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Toronto-Pearson, Ulan Bator, Vancouver, Vienna, Vladivostok, Washington-Dulles, Weihai, Wuhan, Xi'an, Xiamen, Yangon, Yanji, Zhengzhou, Zürich
Seasonal: Cairo, Oslo-Gardermoen, Saint Petersburg
Seasonal charter: Taichung, Xining, Zagreb
Main. 2(After 2018)
Korean Air
operated by Hanjin
Seasonal Charter: Athens[18] Main. 2(After 2018)
Lao Airlines Luang Prabang, Vientiane A
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich A
Malaysia Airlines Kuala Lumpur A
Mandarin Airlines Kaohsiung, Taichung A. 2(After 2018)
MIAT Mongolian Airlines Ulan Bator A
Myanmar Airways International Mandalay, Yangon A
Orient Thai Airlines Bangkok-Don Mueang, Phuket A
Peach Naha (begins 4 September 2015),[19] Osaka-Kansai A
Philippine Airlines Cebu, Kalibo, Manila A
Qatar Airways Doha A
S7 Airlines Novosibirsk,[20] Vladivostok
Seasonal: Irkutsk
Scoot Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan A
Shandong Airlines Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai A
Shanghai Airlines Shanghai-Pudong A. 2(After 2018)
Shenzhen Airlines Shenzhen, Xi'an, Yantai A
Sichuan Airlines Chengdu A
Singapore Airlines San Francisco, Singapore A
Sky Angkor Airlines Siem Reap, Sihanoukville A
Spring Airlines Shanghai-Pudong, Shijiazhuang A
StarFlyer Kitakyūshū A
Thai AirAsia X Bangkok-Don Mueang A
Thai Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Hong Kong, Los Angeles (ends 25 October 2015),[21] Taipei-Taoyuan A
Tianjin Airlines Tianjin A
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk A
T'way Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Fukuoka, Guam (begins 24 September 2015),[22] Haikou, Jinan, Naha, Ningbo, Oita, Osaka-Kansai, Saga, Sapporo-Chitose, Taichung, Vientiane Main & A
Uni Air Taichung[23] A
United Airlines Guam (ends 29 September 2015),[24] San Francisco, Tokyo-Narita A
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent A
VietJet Air Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City (begins 7 November 2015)
Charter: Da Nang
Vietnam Airlines Da Nang, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City A. 2(After 2018)
Xiamen Airlines Fuzhou, Quanzhou,[25] Xiamen A. 2(After 2018)
Yakutia Airlines Ulan-Ude, Yakutsk A

Cargo airlines

Airlines Destinations
Air China Cargo Beijing-Capital, Shanghai-Pudong
Air France Cargo Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air Hong Kong Hong Kong
Air Incheon Qingdao, Tokyo-Haneda, Tokyo-Narita, Ulan Bator, Yantai, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
AirBridgeCargo Airlines Moscow-Domodedovo, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Saint Petersburg
Antonov Airlines Fairbanks
ANA Cargo Naha, Osaka-Kansai, Tokyo-Narita
Asiana Cargo Anchorage, Atlanta, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Brussels, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth,[26] Frankfurt, Gothenburg, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, London-Stansted, Los Angeles, Miami, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Domodedovo, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Oslo-Gardermoen, Penang, Portland (OR),[27] Saint Petersburg, San Francisco, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Tianjin, Vienna, Yantai
Atlas Air Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong
Aviacon Zitotrans Yekaterinburg
Cardig Air Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta
Cargolux Luxembourg
Cathay Pacific Cargo Hong Kong, Osaka-Kansai
Centurion Air Cargo Miami
China Cargo Airlines Shanghai-Pudong
China Postal Airlines Beijing-Capital, Xi'an, Yantai
DHL Aviation
operated by AeroLogic
Emirates SkyCargo Dubai-Al Maktoum, Osaka-Kansai
FedEx Express Anchorage, Beijing-Capital, Guangzhou, Los Angeles, Memphis, New York-JFK, Newark, Shanghai-Pudong
Hong Kong Airlines Cargo Hong Kong
Kalitta Air Anchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, New York-JFK, Shanghai-Pudong
Korean Air Cargo Amsterdam, Atlanta, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Basel/Mulhouse, Beijing-Capital, Boston, Brussels, Campinas, Chicago-O'Hare, Chennai, Cheongju, Copenhagen, Dallas/Fort Worth, Frankfurt, Guadalajara, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Istanbul-Atatürk, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Miami, Milan-Malpensa, Moscow-Sheremetyevo, Navoiy, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, Oslo-Gardermoen, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Penang, Qingdao, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Stockholm-Arlanda, Sydney, Tel Aviv-Ben Gurion, Toronto-Pearson, Vienna, Xiamen, Zaragoza
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt, Krasnoyarsk
MASkargo Kuala Lumpur
Midex Airlines Al Ain
Nippon Cargo Airlines Osaka-Kansai, Shanghai-Pudong, Tokyo-Narita
Nordic Global Airlines Helsinki
Okay Airways Cargo Tianjin
Polar Air Cargo Anchorage, Cincinnati, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Melbourne, Shanghai-Pudong, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan
Polet Airlines Voronezh
Qantas Freight Chicago-O'Hare, Sydney
Qatar Airways Cargo Doha
SAT Airlines Cargo Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk
SF Airlines Zhengzhou
Sky Lease Cargo Miami
Silk Way Airlines Baku
Silk Way West Airlines Baku
Singapore Airlines Cargo Singapore
Southern Air Beijing-Capital, Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York-JFK, San Francisco
Turkish Airlines Cargo Almaty, Bishkek, Istanbul-Atatürk[29]
UPS Airlines Almaty, Anchorage, Hong Kong, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Taipei-Taoyuan, Zhengzhou
Volga-Dnepr Airlines Krasnoyarsk
Western Global Airlines Los Angeles
Yangtze River Express Hangzhou, Qingdao, Shanghai-Pudong

Cargo Terminal Complex

Korean Air planes awaiting departure
Korean Air A330 taxiing out at Incheon Airport

The Cargo Terminal Complex comprises six cargo terminals, five separate warehouses, All E/F Class 36 parking stands, and administration offices. Each cargo terminal is designed to provide each carrier with unique services, and a cargo warehouse – approximately 3,500 square metres (38,000 sq ft). They are separated into three areas: import, passing, and export. The logical manner in which the terminals were designed allow for a highly efficient operation. The cargo terminals also come with an advanced computer system that helps managers view individual package information, tracking information, storage information, etc. in real time. The terminals also feature various other high-tech technologies.

The Cargo Terminal Complex was designed to be able to process 1.7 million tons of cargo per year. However, due to the increased demands, the operators of Cargo A Terminal and Cargo B Terminal have opted to expand their facilities onto the land that is available nearby. As a result, the total processing ability of the complex is currently rated at 3.8 million tons per year. The C Terminal was unable to expand, however, due to the lack of direct airside access. Once Phase II expansion is complete, the airport will have a processing ability of around 4.9 million metric tons per year. This is because the expansion which was originally designed to allow an expansion to 4.5 million tons per year would be adding on top of the current processing ability, which includes the expansions by Korean Air Cargo and Asiana Cargo which were conducted separately on a piece of land that did not conflict with the airport expansion plans.

The Cargo Terminal Complex operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, nonstop. In addition, the automation systems had been upgraded. As a result, it is typical for the airport to output an extra 2 million tons per year processing capability than the original design.

A Terminal

Terminal A is operated by Korean Air Cargo. It is the largest cargo terminal by both size and capacity within the airport. It is able to process special types of cargo, such as those that require refrigeration or those that carry live animals. This facility had been expanded once on 2 March 2005 to allow for a total processing capability of 1.35 million tons per year. The terminal has an area of 60,000 square meters.

B Terminal

This cargo terminal is operated by Asiana Cargo. Although its capacity was to be expanded to 800,000 tons per year, the diminished demand for cargo transportation on Asiana originating from a pilot strike in 2005 has caused the plans to be modified. Currently, the terminals are capable of processing 750,000 tons per year. The terminal has an area of 40,000 square meters.

C Terminal

This cargo terminal is operated by the Incheon International Airport Foreign Carrier Cargo Terminal Company. Its users include FedEx, UPS, as well as other airlines. Due to its location, it could not expand its facilities, as with the other terminals, without conflicting with the existing plans for airport expansion. As a result, the IIAC is currently constructing a new terminal that would by operated by the IIAC Foreign Carrier Cargo Terminal Company. Once this new terminal is constructed, FedEx and UPS are expected to move into the new terminal, while other cargo operators are expected to use the existing terminal.

The terminal is 420 metres (1,380 ft) long, 120 metres (390 ft) wide, and 19.65 metres (64.5 ft) tall. Its first floor (warehouse) has a total area of 54,203.32 square meters, and other floors occupy 12,708.88 square meters. Its current total processing capability is 600,000 metrics tons per year. 51 different cargo companies use this complex.

AACT Terminal

This cargo terminal is operated by the Joint Company named AACT. Atlas Air Cargo and Sharp have a share. Its users include Polar Air Cargo, Qantas Freight, Finnair Cargo, as well as other airlines.

DHL Incheon Gateway

DHL Express owns and operates this gateway facility[clarification needed] for its operations in Korea, Japan, and Far East Russia. This cargo terminal is four stories tall with modern facilities.

Traffic and statistics

Traffic by calendar year

Traffic by calendar year
Passenger volume Change over previous year Aircraft operations Cargo tonnage
2001 14,542,290 86,807 1,186,015
2002 20,924,171 Increase043.9% 126,094 1,705,928
2003 19,789,874 Decrease05.4% 130,185 1,843,055
2004 24,084,072 Increase021.7% 149,776 2,133,444
2005 26,051,466 Increase08.2% 160,843 2,150,139
2006 28,191,116 Increase08.2% 182,007 2,336,571
2007 31,227,897 Increase010.8% 211,404 2,555,580
2008 29,973,522 Decrease04.0% 211,102 2,423,717
2009 28,549,770 Decrease04.8% 198,918 2,313,002
2010 33,478,925 Increase017.3% 214,835 2,684,499
2011 35,062,366 Increase04.7% 229,580 2,539,222
2012 38,970,864 Increase011.1% 254,037 2,456,724
2013 41,482,828 Increase06.4% 271,224 2,464,385
2014 45,512,099 Increase09.7% 290,043 2,557,681
Source: IIAC Airport Statistics[30]

Top carriers

In 2012, the ten carriers with the largest percentage of passengers flying into, out of, or through Incheon are as follows:

Top Carriers (2012)[30]
Rank Carrier Domestic
Total  %
1 Korean Air 419,929 14,058,318 14,478,247 37.15%
2 Asiana Airlines 191,024 9,602,680 9,793,704 25.13%
3 China Southern Airlines 1,158,424 1,158,424 2.97%
4 Cathay Pacific 1,046,374 1,046,374 2.69%
5 China Eastern Airlines 977,691 977,691 2.51%
6 Thai Airways International 855,970 855,970 2.20%
7 Jeju Air 1,996 790,976 792,972 2.03%
8 Air China 753,201 753,201 1.93%
9 Jin Air 117 654,555 654,672 1.68%
10 Singapore Airlines 598,304 598,304 1.54%


Incheon International airport has been the recipient of a number of awards since its opening, including:

  • In 1998, received ISO certifications in airport construction and airport services.
  • From 2002, won the Best Airport Award, according to IATA and ACI, for three consecutive years.
  • In 2002, was rated second in the Best Airport Worldwide category, according to IATA and ACI.
  • Incheon International Airport Corporation became the first in the world to receive ISO certification in airport services.
  • In 2005, won the Best Airport Worldwide 2005 award from AETRA Service Monitoring, which was jointly conducted by IATA and ACI.
  • In 2006, received the ATRS' Top Asia-Pacific Efficiency Award after achieving a residual variable factor productivity efficiency value that was 57% higher than the average of those in the region.
  • In 2006, was awarded as the world's best airport based on a passenger survey conducted by the IATA.
  • Was named Best Airport Worldwide at the first Airport Service Quality Awards.[31]
  • Received an ISO certification in the environmental category.
  • Was awarded the "Best in Service Award in Class" at the 1st International Conference on Airport Quality and Service by the IATA and the ACI.
  • Won the GT Tested Award for Best Airport in the World in January 2007.[32]
  • Named by Global Traveler (GT) as the Best Airport in the World for the second straight year in January 2008.[8]
  • Has been named World's Best Airport for 2009, in the World Airport Survey results published by Skytrax.
  • In 2010 it was ranked the second-best airport in the world by Skytrax, behind Singapore Changi Airport, based on a customer satisfaction survey.[33]
  • In 2011 it was ranked the third-best airport in the world by Skytrax, behind Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.[34]
  • In 2012 it was ranked the best airport in the world by Skytrax.[35]
Year Award Category Results Ref
2009 Airport Service Quality Awards
by Airports Council International
Best Airport Worldwide Won [36]
Best Airport in Asia-Pacific Won
Best Airport by Size (25–40 million passenger) Won
2010 Best Airport Worldwide Won [37]
2011 Won .[38]

Accidents and incidents

  • On 16 June 2011, Asiana Airlines Flight 324 operated by Airbus A321-200 HL7763 between Chengdu Shuangliu International Airport, China and Incheon International Airport was fired upon by two soldiers of the Republic of Korea Marine Corps as it came in to land at Incheon. A total of 99 rounds were discharged at the aircraft, which was out of range and made a safe landing without sustaining any damage. The soldiers had misidentified the aircraft as belonging to the North Korean military, and were acting on orders that gave them permission to engage without reference to senior officers, following the Bombardment of Yeonpyeong in November 2010.[39]

Ground transport

A deluxe limousine bus at Incheon Airport bound for Jamsil Subway Station in Seoul.
A limousine bus at Incheon Airport bound for Jamsil Subway Station in Seoul


Airport buses are called limousine buses, and are available outside the arrival areas on the first floor. For standard limousine buses travel to Gimpo Airport & Songjeong Station costs around 5,000 won, while the fare for most routes to downtown Seoul is 9,000 - 10,000 won. Deluxe buses are express buses with wider seats costing 7,000 won to Gimpo and 14,000 - 15,000 won to most parts of Seoul.[40]

Limousine Bus (to Seoul)

KAL Limousine

City Bus (to Incheon, Bucheon)

Intercity Bus

Gyeonggi Province

Ansan, Anseong, An-yang Gapyeong, Gimpo, Goyang, Guri, Gwangju of Gyeonggi, Gwangmyeong Hwaseong Icheon Namyangju Paju, Pocheon, Pyeongtaek Seong-nam, Siheung, Suwon Uijeongbu Yeoju, Yong-in

Gangwon Province

Chuncheon, Gang-neng, Wonju

Chungcheong region

Asan, Cheon-an, Cheongju, Chungju, Dangjin, Daejeon, Gongju, Nonsan, Sejong City, Seosan, Tae-an

Daegu and Gyeongsang Northern

Andong, Daegu, Gyeongju, Gumi, Pohang

Busan, Ulsan and Gyeongsang Southern

Busan, Changwon and Masan, Jinju, Ulsan

Jeolla region

Gunsan, Gwangju, Jeongju, Mokpo, Suncheon, Yeosu

AREX 2000 series EMU with Commuter train service


The Incheon International Airport Railroad airport express (or AREX, and styled as A'REX) station is located in the Transport Centre adjacent to the main terminal building and provides high-speed services to Gimpo Airport and Seoul. The AREX trains can travel up to 120 km/h, almost two times faster than a normal subway train.[citation needed] Passengers can choose a high-speed service stopping only at Incheon and Seoul, which takes 43 minutes between Incheon and Seoul but departs only every half-hour; or the all-station service, with a slightly longer journey time of 53 minutes but a more frequent departure timetable of every six minutes.[citation needed] Many of the stations along the AREX line provide connections to the Incheon Subway and Seoul Metropolitan Subway.

Commuter railway stations

Express railway stations

Korea Train eXpress (KTX)

Incheon Airport KTX terminal


A maglev link is currently awaiting opening. The first phase will be 6.1 km long spread over six stations taking riders from the airport toward the south-west of the island where a water park will be located. It will open in July 2014. Phase 2 will be 9.7 km long extending the line to the north-west of the island. Phase 3 will add 37.4 km making the line into a circle.


The airport provides a short term parking lot for 4,000 cars and a long term parking lot for 6,000 cars. Shuttle services connect the long term parking lot to the passenger terminal and the cargo terminal. Car rental is located near the long term parking lot. Link to the main land is provided by the toll Yeongjong Bridge and an expressway. A second expressway on the Incheon Bridge connects the island with central Incheon.


Taxis have three distinct colors: white (silver or yellow, orange) and black, and orange. "Normal taxis" (일반 택시; ilban taeksi) are colored in white or yellow with a colored plastic "taxi" cap on the top of the car. "Deluxe taxis" (모범 택시; mobeom taeksi) are black in color with gold accent/stripes with a plastic yellow "taxi" cap on the roof and are more expensive than regular taxis. Also available are "International Taxis" (국제 택시; gukjae taxi) which has the phrase 'International Taxis', written on the side. International taxis are rare in Seoul. These are orange in color, as the Normal versions. International taxis service English, Japanese, and Chinese speaking drivers.


A ferry service connects Yeongjong-do to the mainland. However, the dock is located at considerable distance from the airport and an alternative means of transport must be sought upon arriving at the island to be able to get to the airport.[41]

See also


  1. ^ "Incheon(ICN) International Airport - Airport Traffic(Summary)". Retrieved 2014-02-10. 
  2. ^ The Korea Herald. "Incheon Airport tops service quality for 9th year". Retrieved 10 May 2015. 
  3. ^
  4. ^ "Incheon International named Best Airport Worldwide 7 years in a row". Rus Tourism News. 2012-02-21. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  5. ^ "인천공항 면세점, 3년연속 '세계 최고 면세점 선정' - Chosunbiz - 프리미엄 경제 파워". 2013-01-01. Retrieved 2013-07-04. 
  6. ^ "25 Reasons Incheon International Airport is the Best Airport in the World". Seulistic. 12 July 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  7. ^ "ACI releases World Airport Traffic Report 2010" (PDF). 1 August 2011. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b [1][dead link]
  9. ^ "Incheon Airport to Open New Concourse". 29 May 2008. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  10. ^ "Incheon Airport to Have New Terminal by 2017". Korea Herald. 29 June 2009. Retrieved 29 June 2009. 
  11. ^ (in Korean)
  12. ^ "Why Nearly Half of Asiana Passengers Were Chinese." The Wall Street Journal. July 7, 2013. Retrieved on July 19, 2013.
  13. ^ "Japanese Travellers' Seoul Train." The Wall Street Journal. James Simms.
  14. ^
  15. ^ "ASIANA AIRLINES Adds Hailar Scheduled Charter July/August 2015". 27 May 2015. Retrieved 27 May 2015. 
  16. ^
  17. ^
  18. ^ [2]
  19. ^
  20. ^ L, J (28 November 2014). "S7 Airlines Expands Seoul Service from Dec 2014". Airline Route. Retrieved 1 December 2014. 
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "UNI Air Adds Taichung - Seoul Service from July 2015". 11 May 2015. Retrieved 11 May 2015. 
  24. ^ [3]
  25. ^
  26. ^ "Asiana route highlights DFW, Incheon partnership". 7 September 2012. Retrieved 29 April 2013. 
  27. ^ 03/06/2011 3:19 pm. "Asiana comes to Oregon / June 2011 / News / Home". Air Cargo World. Retrieved 10 February 2012. 
  28. ^ "2013 summer schedule". Aero Logic. Retrieved 13 August 2013. 
  29. ^ Turkish Airlines Cargo Winter Schedule Archived 1 July 2015 at the Wayback Machine
  30. ^ a b "IIAC Stats". Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ [4] Archived 16 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine
  32. ^ "Premium Travelers Name Incheon International Top Airport Global Traveler Readers have Chosen the Airport as the Best in the World". PR Web Website. 21 January 2007. Retrieved 27 January 2006. 
  33. ^ "Singapore Changi Airport named World's Best Airport 2010". 23 March 2010. Retrieved 28 November 2010. 
  34. ^ "Hong Kong International Airport named World's Best Airport by passengers for 2011". Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  35. ^ "Incheon International Airport is named the World's Best Airport in 2012 by airline travelers". Retrieved 2013-07-29. 
  36. ^ "ACI Airport Service Quality Awards 2009, Asia Pacific airports sweep top places in worldwide awards" Airports Council International. 16 February 2010. Retrieved 2012-04-13
  37. ^ "ASQ Award for winners for 2010". Airports Council International. Retrieved 13 April 2012. 
  38. ^ "World's best airports announced -- Asia dominates". CNN Go. 15 February 2012. Retrieved 12 April 2012. 
  39. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Incident: Asiana A321 near Seoul on Jun 17th 2011, aircraft under fire". The Aviation Herald. Retrieved 18 June 2011. 
  40. ^ "From Incheon Airport to Seoul". Transit Information. Korean Tourism Agency. Retrieved 15 November 2012. 
  41. ^ "Transport in Yeongjongdo & Muuido - Lonely Planet Travel Information". Lonely Planet. Retrieved 2014-10-01. 

External links