Recently I posted about the maglev train currently under construction at Incheon International Airport (referred to herein as Incheon Airport). This is only one part of the airport’s master plan to become the most efficient and environmentally friendly airport in the world. There is no doubt that Incheon Airport has already accomplished a number of its goals, recently deemed the “best airport worldwide in overall customer satisfaction” for the 7th year in a row by the Airports Council International. (I would like to add that Seoul Gimpo was also voted the best airport in the world for terminals serving 15-25 million passengers.)
Incheon Airport has a total of four phases of construction, the current phase being the third which is to be completed by 2017. Preparation for the third phase began in 2009 after phase two was completed in 2008 with the opening of a separate concourse which is accessible by underground shuttle train. One more runway was also built and currently the airport has three runways and one terminal. While Incheon Airport already claims to have the eighth highest international traffic in the world, it is still trying to catch up to the size and capacity of other top airports around the world. In this post I will outline some of the mean features of the third phase and what the airport looks to achieve by final completion.
The final design for Incheon’s second terminal was chosen in June last year as a terminal in the shape of two phoenixes designed by Heerim Architects and Planners, a symbol that was seen to represent both the airport and Korea well. Heerim is also responsible for designing a huge number projects around Korea and the rest of the world, including a number of stadiums for the upcoming Asia Games. According to Incheon Airport the new terminal will have automatic boarding systems so passengers can board aircraft faster and solar panels on the roof, a part of Incheon’s ongoing “green airport” campaign.
Construction is to begin sometime in 2013 and officially open for operations in 2018. The new terminal’s site area covers 110.5km² and the terminal building itself will be 35km², making up a total of 84.6km² in passenger terminal space including the current facilities. An estimated 18 million passengers will use the new terminal annually, the currently facilities processing somewhere in the area of 33 million passengers per year. More facts and figures can be viewed through the links at the bottom of this page.
According to the Chosun Ilbo, Asiana Airlines will move all of its operations to the new terminal once it is complete, while Korean Air will remain at Terminal 1. While the relocation of airlines is generally extremely expensive, because of the airline’s desire to move, it means Asiana can also take part in planning the interior for its customers. The newspaper also reported that there would be an underground link, most probably an extension of the current underground rail shuttle.
To view more designs, technical blueprints and structural details of the terminal, download the press pack from supporting design company Hugh Dutton Associates’s blog “Complexitys” using the ID and password provided.
In February 2012, an investigation into the viability for an extension of the airport railroad to the future terminal was initiated. Though no plans are set in concrete at this stage, the map below marks the route the extension would potentially take, passing by the future second Business District in the north. The map also shows Incheon Airport’s planned final layout, note the five runways, one reserved specifically for cargo aircraft.
As this is long-term project, some details may change and any new developments or amendments will be added to this same page. A big thank you to Matt from Hamburg for requesting info on this project.
Sources and Links:
Gyeongin Ilbo, Nikola’s Blog, Blog Containing Alternative Designs that were Showcased (Thanks to Matt)