New Busan airport to open in 2029, more than five years ahead of earlier plan

2023.03.15 10:05:01 | 2023.03.15 15:10:25

A rendering of the Gadeokdo airport in Busan [Photo provided by Busan City]이미지 확대

A rendering of the Gadeokdo airport in Busan [Photo provided by Busan City]

A new international airport near Busan will open more than five years earlier than planned to allow it to start operations in time for the World Expo in 2030, which South Korea’s second-biggest city is bidding for.

The government is aiming to open the Gadeokdo airport in December 2029, about five years and six months earlier than the original plan, according to the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport. The ministry estimated the new airfield would cost 13.8 trillion won ($10.5 billion).

The ministry will conclude the basic plan for the new airfield by the end of the year and begin construction at the end of 2024. The airport’s runway will be built on reclaimed land, a decision made after seven expert advisor meetings and related local government consultation.

“The early opening of the new Gadeokdo airport will be a necessary condition for Busan to host the World Expo in 2030 and represent a catalyst for advancing common prosperity and balanced development in the southern region,” said Busan Mayor Park Heong-joon.

Meanwhile, it is known that the Ministry of Economy and Finance recently reached a tentative agreement to exempt the airport facilities in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province in eastern South Korea from preliminary feasibility studies. The exemption from a preliminary feasibility study is a key provision of a new airport special act for that region pending at the National Assembly‘s Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee.

By Song Gwang-sup, Lee Hee-jo, Park Dong-min, and Yoon Yeon-hae

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