Incheon International Airport (IIA) (IATA: ICN, ICAO: RKSI), sometimes referred to as Seoul–Incheon International Airport, is the largest airport in South Korea. Located west of Incheon‘s city center, the airport is located on an artificially created piece of land between Yeongjong and Yongyu Islands.
Originally separated by shallow sea, the area between the two islands was reclaimed for the construction project, effectively connecting the two islands. The reclaimed area. as well as the two islands, are all part of Jung-gu, an administrative district of Incheon.
The airport opened for business on March 29, 2001, replacing the older Gimpo International Airport which now serves mostly domestic destinations plus shuttle flights to alternate airports in several East Asian metropolitan areas including Tokyo and Osaka, both in Japan; Beijing and Shanghai, both in China; and Taipei in Taiwan.
Incheon International Airport’s terminal has 111 boarding gates altogether, with 44 in Terminal 1, 30 in Concourse A (connected to terminal 1), and 37 in Terminal 2. The airport serves as a hub for international civilian air transportation and cargo traffic in East Asia. Located 48 kms (30 mi.) west of Seoul, the capital and the largest city of South Korea, Incheon International Airport is the primary airport serving the Seoul Capital Area.
Here are some interesting trivia regarding this airport:
- The airport is the main hub for Korean Air, Asiana Airlines, Jeju Air, and Polar Air Cargo.
- In 2016, the Incheon International Airport was the fifth busiest airport in the world and third in Asia by cargo traffic, and 19th in the world and eighth in Asia by passenger traffic. In 2017, the airport improved to being the world’s fourth busiest airport by cargo traffic (and still third in Asia). It remained the world’s 19th busiest airport by passenger traffic (but dropped to ninth in Asia).
- In 2016, the airport served a total of 57,849,814 passengers. In 2017, it increased its total to 62,082,032 passengers.
- It is ranked among the fastest airports in the world for customs processing. It is claimed, by airport authorities, that average departure and arrival takes 19 minutes and 12 minutes, respectively, as compared to worldwide average of 60 minutes and 45 minutes, respectively.
- It is rated as the world’s cleanest airport
- It is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world.
- In 2012, in the World Airport Survey results published by Skytrax, it was ranked as the world’s best international transit airport.
- Incheon International Airport claims that it has only a 0.0001% baggage mishandling rate.
Since its opening, Incheon International Airport has been the recipient of a number of awards including:
- For 11 consecutive years, from 2005 to 2016, the airport held the record of being ranked the Best Airport Worldwide by the Airports Council International(ACI)’s Airport Service Quality Award.
- Since 2012, due to the Airports Council International(ACI)’s decision to discontinue the Best Airport Worldwide category, it has also been rated the world’s best among airports of its size (25–40 million passengers) and region (Asia-Pacific).
- In January 2007, it won the GT Tested Award for Best Airport in the World.
- In January 2008, it was named by Global Traveler (GT) as the Best Airport in the World for the second straight year.
- In 2013, Business Traveller rated its duty-free shopping mall as the world’s best for three years in a row.