Incheon International Airport
|Incheon International Airport
Incheon Gukje Gonghang
logo of Incheon International Airport
Aerial view of Terminal 1
|IATA: ICN – ICAO: RKSI
– WMO: 47113
|Owner||Government of the Republic of Korea|
|Operator||Incheon International Airport Corporation|
|Serves||Seoul Metro Area|
|Location||Jung District, Incheon, South Korea|
|Elevation AMSL||23 ft / 7 m|
Statistics from IIAC
Incheon International Airport (IIA) (IATA: ICN, ICAO: 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. It is also rated as the world's cleanest airport and the world's best international transit airport by Skytrax.
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. Its duty-free shopping mall has been rated the world's best for three years in a row in 2013 by Business Traveller. Incheon International Airport also claims that it has only a 0.0001% baggage mishandling rate.
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.
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.
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.
Airlines and destinations
The airport serves more passenger trafic than Japan's main international gateway, Narita International.
Traffic and statistics
Traffic by calendar year
|Passenger volume||Change over previous year||Aircraft operations||Cargo tonnage|
|Source: IIAC Airport Statistics|
In 2012, the ten carriers with the largest percentage of passengers flying into, out of, or through Incheon are as follows:
|3||China Southern Airlines||1,158,424||1,158,424||2.97%|
|5||China Eastern Airlines||977,691||977,691||2.51%|
|6||Thai Airways International||855,970||855,970||2.20%|
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.
- 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.
- Named by Global Traveler (GT) as the Best Airport in the World for the second straight year in January 2008.
- 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.
- In 2011 it was ranked the third-best airport in the world by Skytrax, behind Hong Kong International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport.
- In 2012 it was ranked the best airport in the world by Skytrax.
|2009||Airport Service Quality Awards
by Airports Council International
|Best Airport Worldwide||Won|||
|Best Airport in Asia-Pacific||Won|
|Best Airport by Size (25–40 million passenger)||Won|
|2010||Best Airport Worldwide||Won|||
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.
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.
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. 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. Many of the stations along the AREX line provide connections to the Incheon Subway and Seoul Metropolitan Subway.
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.
- Transportation in South Korea
- List of Korea-related topics
- List of airports in South Korea
- Busiest airports in South Korea by passenger traffic
- World's Busiest Airports by Cargo Traffic – 4th Place
- World's Busiest Airports by International Passenger Traffic – 8th Place
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Incheon International Airport.|
- Official website
- Incheon International Airport Foreign Carrier Cargo Terminal
- Official Site of Korea Tourism Org.: Incheon
- Korea City Air Terminal
- Korea Airport Service
- Airport information for RKSI at World Aero Data. Data current as of October 2006.
- Incheon Airport Bus Guide & Map
- New Airport Highway Co. Incheon International Airport Expressway
- Incheon International Airport Railroad (A'REX)
- Incheon International Airport Terminal 2