South Korea plans to build first ‘floating airport’

Seoul: South Korea plans to build the country’s first “floating airport” in the southern port city of Busan by 2035, the Land Ministry said on Tuesday.

Last year, the National Assembly approved a bill on a mega state project worth some 13.7 trillion won ($10.97 billion) to build the new airport on Gadeok Island, the biggest island of Busan, to handle growing air traffic demand and facilitate prosperity in the country’s southeast region, reports Yonhap News Agency.

According to the detailed plan announced by the Ministry on Tuesday, the new facility will be an offshore airport, which is to be built on a floating structure at sea.

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It plans to begin drawing a detailed construction plan within this year following an environment survey.

If the process goes without a hitch, the construction is expected to kick off in 2025, and the new airport will be put into operation in June 2035.

A study shows that the envisioned airport would handle some 23.36 million passengers and 286,000 tonnes of cargo in 2065, the Ministry said.

But long-drawn controversies surrounding the project could continue, as critics say the new facility is not economically feasible and would negatively affect the environment in the region.

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