Incheon International Airport Corp. said the international airport has surpassed 40 million tons in accumulative international flight cargo. The airport has shown an annual growth average of about 5.8 percent in handling international since the airport opened, and a 7.5 percent surge in 2017.
Since its opening 17 years ago, the airport reached the 10 million ton milestone on June 15, 2006; 20 million tons on July 2, 2010; 30 million tons on June 24, 2014; and 40 million tons.
Topping 40 million tons in accumulative cargo is equivalent to a 57 percent share of the 70.5 million tons in global international cargoes handled in 2017. It is equivalent to 1,096 B747-400 flights, each with a 100 ton capacity tonnage.
Incheon International Airport handles a 95 percent of Korea’s aviation import and export cargo. The airport serves as an economic gateway of Korea, which covers 29.4 percent of the nation’s annual total trade and handles a 40 percent share of the nation’s total trade surplus. The airport has boosted the nation’s economic growth since its opening. The airport acts as a free trade zone, with a cargo terminal covering 1.13 million sq. meters, and an airport logistics complex covering 1.5 million sq. meters.
Together they accommodate a combined 664 airline, logistics and manufacturing companies, contributing to regional and national economic development by creating about 14,000 jobs.
Incheon International Airport’s cargo handling volumes showed steep growth between 2001 and 2007, averaging 13.6 percent annually, but it suffered a setback for three years since 2011 due to the global economic recession and lighter international cargoes.
But thanks to Incheon International Airport Corp.’s efforts to explore new demand, plus the government and airliners’ support, growth has rebounded. The airport saw cargo volume in 2017 surge 7.6 percent to 2.92 million tons over the previous year.
In the meantime, the corporation is implementing steps to expand aviation logistic infrastructure and promote institutional overhaul in accordance with a plan to ramp up the competitiveness of airport’s aviation logistics industry, finalized during the 21st economic ministers’ meeting in 2016.
The third phase of the aviation logistics complex development project gets under way with completion scheduled for the second half of 2019. New cargo terminal projects, including Atlas Air Cargo Terminal and a terminal for exclusive use of specialized cargo services are being pushed ahead.
The completion of a fresh cargo terminal slated for 2019 will dramatically reduce transshipment connections and expand infrastructure for fresh cargo and transshipment cargo. The airport plans to accelerate efforts to increase flight cargo by simplifying a procedure for clearing e-Commerce goods on top of expanding infrastructure and improving logistics processes and systems like the relaxation of building-to-land ratio and floor area ratio.
Lim Byung-gi, head of the Future Business Office at Incheon International Airport Corp., said thanks to the airport’s continued efforts in cooperation with the government, airline, and logistics companies, the airport made a feat of surpassing 40 million tons in accumulative cargo it has handled for the past 17 years since its opening.
The airport is poised to be reborn into a full-fledged hub port of Northeast Asia by timely completing the construction of such infrastructure as Airport Logistics Complex Phase III, new cargo terminals and a fresh cargo terminal and aggressively exploring new markets and new growth cargoes.