South Korea will invest 4.84 trillion won ($4.2 billion) to expand its main airport by 2024 to meet rapidly rising travel demand, the transport ministry said Tuesday.
Incheon International Airport Corp, the operator of Incheon International Airport, will make the investment in stages over the next five years to build a fourth runway and expand the second passenger terminal and other facilities, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.
"In recent years, an increased number of low-cost carriers have joined full-service carriers to absorb soaring demand on domestic and international routes. The number of passengers who use the Incheon airport is expected to reach over 100 million in 2030," the statement said.
The IIAC held a groundbreaking ceremony for the expansion project at the Incheon airport earlier in the day.
If completed, the expanded Incheon airport will be able to manage 106 million passengers a year with two terminals that separately accommodate over 50 million passengers each, it said.
The ministry expects the Incheon airport will rank third in 2024 after Dubai International Airport and Istanbul Airport in terms of passenger accommodation capabilities.
Previously, IIAC injected 4.9 trillion won to build the second terminal from June 2009 to December 2017. In January last year, it began commercial operations.
Korean Air Lines Co. and three foreign full-service carriers -- Delta Air Lines, Inc., Air France and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines -- currently serve passengers in the second terminal. Asiana Airlines Inc. and 85 other airlines use the first terminal.
The country has two full-service carriers -- Korean Air and Asiana Airlines Inc. -- and seven low-cost carriers -- Jeju Air, Jin Air, Air Busan Co., Air Seoul Inc., Eastar Jet, T'way Air Co. and Fly Gangwon. (Yonhap)