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South Korea planning to build country's first floating airport in Busan

According to media reports, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced on Tuesday that after reviewing five options for Busan's new airport on Gadeok island, the city's largest island, it finally decided to go offshore to avoid noise-sensitive areas, potential land subsistence, and flight congestion due to proximity to nearby Gimhae and Jinhae airports.

South Korea planning to build country s first floating airport in Busan gcw
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South Korea, First Published Apr 27, 2022, 3:51 PM IST

South Korea intends to construct a new airport near Busan, the country's second biggest city, as the country's first offshore airport, with a total investment of 13.7 trillion won (372 billion baht). According to media reports, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport announced on Tuesday that after reviewing five options for Busan's new airport on Gadeok island, the city's largest island, it finally decided to go offshore to avoid noise-sensitive areas, potential land subsistence, and flight congestion due to proximity to nearby Gimhae and Jinhae airports.

The concept calls for a 3,500-metre runway to accommodate national flag-carrying freighters such as the B747-400F.

As President-elect Yoon Suk-yeol promised to push for airport building during his presidential campaign, the basic layout is extremely likely to be removed from a mandated feasibility investigation to ensure quick project implementation. President Moon Jae-in also emphasised the necessity of expediting the building of Gadeok-do International Airport, which has long been a dream of citizens in South Gyeongsang.

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Given the time required for the preparation of the basic plan, environmental impact assessment, and other necessary processes, building of the new airport is scheduled to begin in 2025 and last up to nine years and eight months, with the airport opening in June 2035.

If the development proposal is approved, Gadeok-do International Airport would be South Korea's first offshore airport built in the form of a floating structure at sea.
The airport's inauguration will most certainly be delayed by more than a year from the initial December 2029 target date, preventing the Busan city administration from using the new airport in 2030, when the city intends to host the World Expo.

The airport's economic impact is anticipated to be worth 23 trillion won.

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