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South Korea's Ghost Airport  
User currently offlineSeansasLCY From Hong Kong, joined Mar 2007, 844 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 6523 times:

Interesting article on the BBC News site about YangYang International Airport in South Korea.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/asia-pacific/8055957.stm

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineHOONS90 From Malaysia, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 3003 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 6482 times:
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Thanks for finding the article, very interesting read.

I wonder if Wonju Airport will have the same fate-- they only have one daily flight to Jeju on a KE 738.

Had Pyeongchang gotten the 2014 Olympics, I wonder if Yangyang would have been a viable gateway.



The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
User currently offlineFlykal From Australia, joined Sep 2003, 442 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 5716 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.


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User currently offlineJetblueguy22 From United States of America, joined Nov 2007, 2769 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5681 times:
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That was very interesting. It's a shame that all these nice brand new airports have to go to waste! Maybe we can bring that airport over and replace LGA!  duck 
Blue



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User currently offlineQatarA340 From Qatar, joined May 2006, 1808 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 5581 times:

I wonder why they have that many airports! They should just donate the runways to London Heathrow j/k

Seriously, LHR is making a huge deal just for an extra runway, whcih in other countries they are just building runways for no use!



لا اله الا الله محمد رسول الله
User currently offlineMAH4546 From Sweden, joined Jan 2001, 32624 posts, RR: 72
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5534 times:



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.



a.
User currently onlinePellegrine From United States of America, joined Mar 2007, 2368 posts, RR: 8
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5525 times:

Interesting article. It's very indicative of ROK's aspirational status as a rich Asian country. A lot of these things are just built because they can and to have a nice showpiece.

Anyway, it looks good. And it's better to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it.  Smile



oh boy!!!
User currently offline2travel2know From Panama, joined Apr 2005, 3580 posts, RR: 4
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 5461 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?



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User currently offlineHOONS90 From Malaysia, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 3003 posts, RR: 53
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 5299 times:
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Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 7):
Does South Korea have a LCC?

Yes. There's Jeju Air based in Jeju Island, and there's also Eastar Jet, Jin Air (Korean Air subsidiary) and Air Busan (Asiana subsidiary).

I believe that Jeju Air use Cheongju, but the airport mostly serves the Cheongju metro area. All of the LCCs already have established operations at Gimpo.

KE is the only airline to fly to Wonju.



The biggest mistake made by most human beings: Listening to only half, understanding just a quarter and telling double.
User currently offlineArticulatexpat From Hong Kong, joined Sep 2006, 156 posts, RR: 1
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4974 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.

I couldn't agree more.


User currently offlineSKY1 From Spain, joined Apr 2006, 879 posts, RR: 4
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 4907 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.



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User currently offlineViscount724 From Switzerland, joined Oct 2006, 24917 posts, RR: 22
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 13 hours ago) and read 4504 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.

[Edited 2009-05-20 14:40:58]

User currently offlineRIXrat From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 786 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 4172 times:

Does Montreal's Mirabel Airport (YMX) come to anyone's mind. Was supposed to be the airport of the future, but it didn't work.

User currently offlineHOONS90 From Malaysia, joined exactly 13 years ago today! , 3003 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 4057 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]


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User currently offlineSparkingwave From South Korea, joined Jun 2005, 670 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 6 days ago) and read 3889 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.



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User currently offlineTravelin man From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3490 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 3599 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.

User currently offlineRwessel From United States of America, joined Jan 2007, 2316 posts, RR: 2
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 3333 times:
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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.


User currently offlineAtomsareenough From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 566 posts, RR: 2
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2998 times:



Quoting RIXrat (Reply 12):
Does Montreal's Mirabel Airport (YMX) come to anyone's mind. Was supposed to be the airport of the future, but it didn't work.

That was the first thing that came to my mind. I'm actually quite fascinated by Mirabel, and would love to read more about it. The Korean airports, too.


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