Incheon International Airport will officially open its second passenger terminal Jan. 18, which will enhance user convenience at South Korea's main gateway, the government said Sunday.
The transportation ministry and Incheon International Airport Corp., the airport's operator, said once opened, the new terminal will relieve the workload from existing facilities and speed up passenger processing time.
"Every effort is being made to ensure that the terminal operates smoothly when it opens to the public," a ministry official said. He said seamless operation is important because the terminal will handle athletes and sports officials arriving in the country for the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics that kicks off Feb. 9.
The new terminal covering 384,336 square meters is designed to handle some 18 million passengers per year. The structure has five stories and two underground floors and has check-in desks, security, customs and quarantine infrastructure that permits it to carry out all immigration-related work independently.
The terminal will support South Korean flag carrier Korean Air, as well as planes operated by KLM, Air France and Delta.
IIAC said that with the opening of the second terminal, the country's largest airport, located on Yeongjong Island, some 60 kilometers west of Seoul, will be able to process 72 million passengers and 5 million tons of cargo every year. This will solidify its status as one of the main transportation hubs in all of Northeast Asia.
Work on the second terminal began in 2013, with the government injecting some 5 trillion won ($4.5 billion) into the project that is expected to create some 8,500 new jobs.
Authorities are currently undertaking the fourth phase of the airport's expansion that will be completed in 2023. This phase involves the building of a fourth runway and expanding the apron space, as well as strengthening overall information and communication technology infrastructure at the transportation hub.
South Korea, in addition, envisions in the long run, the building of a third passenger terminal and a fifth runway that will allow Incheon airport to handle upwards of 130 million people annually. (Yonhap)