The South Korean government on Thursday laid out the bidding process for constructing a new airport in Gimhae.
The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport said the bidding will be conducted through international competitive bidding procedures. After reviewing bidders’ project proposals, the ministry will go through the qualification and evaluation processes and choose a winner in June.
The selected operator will carry out an extended feasibility study and devise a general plan over the next 12 months. The cost for this 12-month process is estimated at some 4.2 billion won ($3.6 million), the ministry said.
Upon organizing the general plan, the government said it would also consult with experts and local communities to better meet the demand for air travel in the southeastern region of the country.
“Once the general plan is set up, the ministry will go through a series of discussions with related institutions, such as the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, the Ministry of Environment and the local government,” a ministry spokesman said.
The finalized plan will be made public in 2018, with construction to be completed by 2026.
The construction of the new airport includes a 3,200-meter runway, a terminal and other facilities and infrastructure. The construction would allow the expanded airport to handle 38 million passengers a year. The existing Gimhae Airport, with a capacity of 17.3 million, is to be incorporated into the new one.
The estimated cost of construction is expected to reach 5.9 trillion won, according to the Korea Development Institute. The state-run think tank conducted the feasibility study over nine months and approved it on April 11.
The expansion of Gimhae Airport is the central government’s revised plan, which came after a yearlong feasibility study by French airport engineering company ADPi was concluded in June.
Upon nullifying the initial plan to build a brand new airport in the southeastern region, the central government faced vehement protests from local citizens and authorities, especially from those of the two candidate sites of Miryang, South Gyeongsang Province, and Busan’s largest island, Gadeokdo.
By Shim Woo-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)