S. Korea to build 2nd airport in Jeju resort island

November 11, 2015 7:55 am 

SEOUL, Nov. 10 — South Korea's transport ministry announced a plan Tuesday to build a new airport in the country's southern resort island of Jeju by 2025 to meet the fast-growing air traffic demand.

The new airport will be located in Shinsan-ri, a town near the island's southeastern coast. It would cost around 4.1 trillion won (USD3.5 billion), according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

The airport with one runway to be 3,200 meters long and 60 meters wide would be operated separately from the Jeju International Airport located in the island's northern shores.

The new airport construction came amid the rising passenger traffic caused by the island's popularity especially among Chinese tourists and a spike in low-cost carrier flights.

The number of people visiting the Jeju International Airport jumped from 11.35 million in 2005 to 15.72 million in 2010 and 23.20 million last year.

The number was expected to surge to 39.39 million in 2025 and to 45.49 million in 2035.

To better handle the surge in air traffic demand, the ministry reviewed three options of expanding the current Jeju International Airport, closing the existing airport and building a new airport with two runways, and building a new airport with one runway while maintaining the current airport.

The third option was picked as the expansion of the current airport would cost 9.4 trillion won due to the need to reclaim land from sea and the subsequent damage to the maritime environment.

The construction of a completely new airport, while closing the existing airport, would cost around 7 trillion won and cause an environmental damage.

The ministry said that the site for the new airport was favorable in weather conditions, effective in costs and less damaging to the environment. (PNA/Xinhua)

JBP/SSC

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