Since opening in 2001 on an island of reclaimed wetlands, Incheon has become Asia’s premier air hub, overtaking competitors in Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong. With its speed and amenities, Incheon has been voted the world’s best airport for six years by members of the Airports Council International.
Thanks to its advanced IT systems, it has cut the time taken to pass through immigration controls to one third of that suggested by the International Civil Aviation Organisation. Passengers are offered all kinds of cultural performances, free internet and shower facilities, and even a spa and skating rink.
Nevertheless, while Incheon’s overseas expansion gains traction on the back of its strong reputation, domestic expansion plans are not making much headway. For years, the state-run company has planned to sell up to 49 per cent of the airport to private investors.
It aims to sell a 15 per cent stake through a domestic initial public offering but the plan is going nowhere as lawmakers refuse to pass necessary legislation.