Flykal From Australia, joined Sep 2003, 442 posts, RR: 4 Reply 2, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 5259 times:
A clear problem in South Korea - too many airports too close together for a country with such a small area. In addition, the development of the KTX (high speed train) can certainly not help the fate of many of South Korea's already underused airports.
One doesn't discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time
2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4 Reply 7, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 5004 times:
I saw the map on BBCnews article and it seems 2 airports could be Seouls LCC airports (if good transportation is provided): Wonju WJU and Cheongju CJJ.
Does South Korea have a LCC?
Would Asian LCC be interested in alternate Seoul airports?
Articulatexpat From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2006, 155 posts, RR: 1 Reply 9, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4517 times:
Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 7): I saw the map on BBCnews article and it seems 2 airports could be Seouls LCC airports (if good transportation is provided): Wonju WJU and Cheongju CJJ.
Does South Korea have a LCC?
Would Asian LCC be interested in alternate Seoul airports?
I was thinking the same thing, especially about WJU. Currently, the Seoul area's two airports are off to the west. However, with a large and growing population in the southeast of the metro area (Bundang especially), it can be a long haul to get to them. WJU is about 90 miles east of Seoul, though, so it may be a bit too far to be practical. With direct transport links, it might still be viable, though: the trek from the southeastern suburbs to ICN can take upwards of 2 hours.
I think CJJ is Daejeon's main airport in addition to serving the nearby city of Cheongju. Their combined population exceeds 2 million. CJJ might be close enough to Seoul's farthest southern suburbs (Line 1 of the subway extends a couple of hours to the south, way down into the boondocks) to be useful. I believe there's a rail station at that airport, as well. Not sure if you can only get there from Daejeon, though. Never could figure that out.
I'm not sure all these airports are really necessary. Sacheon, for example, is next to Yeosu. It's hard to see the point. On the other hand, the population density's immense, even more so when you take the mountainous terrain into consideration. A Korean friend once told me there's only one place in the country where you can see a horizon without hills. Plus, splitting domestic and international service between Gimpo and Incheon, respectively, means that it's almost more practical to take a coach direct to ICN than to bother with a domestic flight, because the transfer between airports (even with the airport train) has to be a monstrous hassle.
Just a hunch, but I've got a feeling Yangyang will come in handy in the future as tourism to the region increases. It might take interest from LCCs, but it's bound to happen sooner or later.
Quoting Pellegrine (Reply 6): And it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
SKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 852 posts, RR: 4 Reply 10, posted (4 years 6 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 4450 times:
Interesting enough is knowing according to the BBC, only the two Seoul's airports, Busan and Jeju island are profitables, all others are losing money. Well, we have in Spain also many airports which are not profitables, only less than 10 might be interesting for the private initiative.
I'm sure it's is very similar in every World country, but the South Korea case is pretty exaggerated.
Viscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 23165 posts, RR: 23 Reply 11, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4047 times:
Quoting MAH4546 (Reply 5): Quoting QatarA340 (Reply 4):
I wonder why they have that many airports!
South Korea has nearly 50M people and is the third most densely populated country in the world that is not an island or city-state, even denser than Nigeria and Japan.
That still doesn't explain why they need around 14 airports with jet service. The Netherlands is about half South Korea's area with roughly 1/3 the population and basically has just one significant airport with scheduled service, apart from very limited service at RTM and one or two others.
I guess one major difference is that there are many airports in neighbouring countries to the Netherlands that are often equally convenient, which isn't the case for South Korea.
HOONS90 From Canada, joined Aug 2001, 2803 posts, RR: 53 Reply 13, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 3600 times:
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I'd say that, by far, the most important domestic route in Korea is the Seoul-Jeju route, which sees up to 60-70 daily flights (many of them on KE A300s and OZ A321s) depending on the day of the week. In terms of statistics, it is up there with the Madrid-Barcelona and Tokyo-Sapporo routes in terms of number of flights, and probably volume as well. While the Seoul-Busan route has been significantly affected by the advent of the KTX, Seoul-Jeju has remained unaffected since Jeju is an island, isolated from the main train routes on the peninsula.
Interestingly, quite a few other airports in Korea other than the ones shown on the map have closed as well, such as Yecheon, Mokpo, Sokcho and Gangneung. I guess airline service to those airports was more feasible back when KE still had F-28s and F-100s. The smallest jet that KE is operating at the moment is the 737-800, and that might be an overkill for some of the routes that have been served once or twice daily on the F-28/F-100.
What's interesting to note is that, although South Korea is one of the most densely populated countries in the world, almost half of its population is focused around the Seoul Metropolitan Area. I wouldn't consider the areas outside of Seoul or Busan as particularly dense.
IIRC Yangyang was supposed to be a replacement for Sokcho and Gangneung. Too bad it didn't work out all that well. I guess the final blow was the 2014 Winter Olympics getting awarded to Sochi instead of Pyeongchang, which happens to be near YNY.
[Edited 2009-05-21 00:19:29]
The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
Sparkingwave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 668 posts, RR: 0 Reply 14, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 3432 times:
People are complaining that there seem to be too many airports too close to each other in South Korea. They aren't making much money since there aren't many flights. But aren't airports designed for the long-haul?
In the prospective event of Korean reunification or increased economic trade and cooperation with North Korea these dormant airports will someday facilitate transport between North and South Korean cities. A reunified Korean peninsula augments the landmass at least twice over, immediately justifying more flights between the various cities. Domestic flights will then take on a new more important role, somewhat like the domestic flights within Japan.
The express trains that exist now in South Korea won't be fast enough to travel between, for example, Sinuiju and Muan. Jet flights will make this more convenient. Because these Korean airports have already been built, the government won't have to invest more money later. And it would certainly be more expensive if built later, thanks to inflation and other factors.
Flights to the moon and all major space stations. At Pan Am, the sky is no longer the limit!
Travelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3374 posts, RR: 0 Reply 15, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 3142 times:
That's an incredible number of airports for a country that ranks right between Indiana and Kentucky from a land area perspective. With high-speed trains and super highways, it seems unlikely some of these airports will ever be needed.
Rwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2135 posts, RR: 2 Reply 16, posted (4 years 6 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 2876 times:
While airports are certainly long term investments, that by itself does not justify the building of an airport! Clearly many of these are political projects ("pork" in my neck of the woods), and don't appear to have any realistic plan for generating enough traffic to justify them.
Japan's massively excessive road building is a similar example. The (now canceled) "bridge to nowhere" in Alaska is another.
Besides, Korea, even in the case of reunification, is hardly big enough to need much internal air traffic - it's only about 650 miles from the southern-most tip to the northern-most (and the north end is not very populated). And even if reunification happens, it'll be decades before the north (with half the population) develops enough economically to need much air transport. Even then, the population of both the North and South on fairly concentrated towards the middle of the peninsula.