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Incheon Airport, golf course operator to meet Wednesday over lease dispute

Incheon International Airport Corp. said Friday that it is fully cooperating with the Korean Anti-Corruption and Civil Rights Commission’s investigation into a lease dispute surrounding a golf course built on airport-owned land. A three-way meeting between the airport, the anti-corruption body and golf resort Sky72 is scheduled for Wednesday, an airport official said.

IIAC and Sky72 have been at odds over the land leased by the airport to the golf resort operator since 2002, with the contract expiring at the end of 2020.

The airport was to build its fifth terminal upon the return of the land. The plan, however, hit a snag amid the COVID-19 pandemic and has been deferred to 2025 at the earliest.

With at least four years before the new terminal could be built, IIAC decided to open a bid for a new operator for the golf course.

Sky72 sought to renew the lease, saying it had invested 200 billion won to build the facilities. But the airport turned down the request, arguing that there was no renewal clause in the contract and renewing without a bidding process could invite accusations of “special treatment.” Sky72 has since filed the case with the anti-corruption body.

The airport, for its part, said Sky72 is welcome to join the bidding process.

By Yim Hyun-su (