A new airport in Jeju Island will be built in Sinsanri, Seogwipo City by 2025.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced on Nov. 10 that it will build “a second airport” in Sinsanri, Seogwipo City. The target area is located near Seongsan Ilchulbong, or Sunrise Peak, that was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Consequently, Jeju Island will have two airports. The current Jeju International Airport will be operated continuously with the new terminal.
The current Jeju International Airport needs an urgent expansion of its facilities, as the airport is expected to reach the limit of its capacity by 2018 due to a sharp increase in the flight demand resulting from the invigoration of low-cost carriers and a large influx of Chinese tourists. About 23.2 million people used Jeju International Airport last year. The airport has seen 19.28 million as of September this year, and is expected to see 28.3 million in 2018 and 40 million in 2025.
To meet such demand, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport mulled over three options: greatly expanding Jeju International Airport, building a completely new airport with two runways and closing the current Jeju International Airport, and keeping the Jeju International Airport and building a second airport at a separate location. Among these three options, the third one was chosen, as it was considered most reasonable.
This option is to keep the operation of Jeju International Airport as it is and to build a new airport which has one runway, which would have a relatively low construction cost (4.1 trillion won) compared to the other options. The target area for the new airport has a nice climatic condition and relatively less residents suffering from aircraft noise. The site also causes less damage to the environment.
As the site for the second airport has been decided, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport is going to begin the related procedures, including preliminary feasibility study, starting from the end of the year, and work to make it possible to open the new airport before 2025. The second airport is expected to serve an annual accommodation of some 25 million visitors.