Gimpo International Airport
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|Gimpo International Airport
Gimpo Gukje Gonghang
Kimp'o Kukche Konghang
|IATA: GMP – ICAO: RKSS|
|Operator||Korea Airports Corporation|
|Location||Gangseo-gu, Seoul, South Korea|
|Elevation AMSL||58 ft / 18 m|
|Tonnes of cargo||248,736|
|Statistics from KAC|
Gimpo International Airport (Korean: 김포국제공항), commonly known as Gimpo Airport (IATA: GMP, ICAO: RKSS) (formerly Kimpo International Airport), is located in the far western end of Seoul, some 15 km (9 mi) west of the Central District of Seoul. It was the main international airport for Seoul and South Korea before being replaced by Incheon International Airport in 2001. It is now the second largest airport in Korea after Incheon International Airport. In 2011, 18,513,927 passengers used the airport.
Airlines and destinations
Gimpo Airport primarily serves domestic and limited international flights to Japan, Taiwan, and China.
The Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board (ARAIB) has its FDR/CVR Analysis and Wreckage Laboratory on the property of Gimpo International Airport. When the predecessor agency Korea Aviation Accident Investigation Board (KAIB) existed, its CVR/FDR and wreckage laboratory was located on the airport property.
The airport originally started out as a runway built by Japanese forces in 1939-1942. It played a major role during the Korean War as the US Kimpo Air Base, code named as K-14, including the defection of North Korean pilot No Kum-Sok and is associated with Operation Moolah. In 1958 was designated as the international airport of the South Korean capital city.
Since then it has grown into a much more significant airport that is capable of handling 226,000 flights a year. The airport had one domestic and two international terminals before its international function was replaced by Incheon International Airport. Gimpo currently has two runways (3600 m×45 m & 3200 m×60 m), two passenger terminals, and one cargo terminal.
On November 29, 2003, scheduled services between Gimpo and Tokyo International Airport (Haneda) in Tokyo, Japan began. Services to Shanghai Hongqiao International Airport started on October 28, 2007. Services to Kansai International Airport In Osaka, Japan started on October 26, 2008. Services to Beijing Capital International Airport started on July 1, 2011.
Airlines that formerly served Gimpo but no longer fly to Korea are listed: Air New Zealand, Alitalia, Ansett Australia, Continental Airlines, Iberia Airlines, Kuwait Airways, Lauda Air, Qantas (now cargo only), Saudia, Swissair, VASP.
Accidents and incidents
- On April 20, 1978, Korean Air Lines Flight 902 a Boeing 707 was shot down by the Soviet Air Force while flying from Paris, France to Anchorage, Alaska and continuing to Gimpo Airport. Two passengers were killed in the Explosive Decompression and the flight was able to land on a frozen lake were the remaining passengers and crew were transported to safety and then flown out of the Soviet Union back to South Korea
- On November 19, 1980, a Korean Air Lines 747 landed short of the runway, ripping off all main landing gear, causing the aircraft to skid to a stop on the nose wheel and outer 2 engines starting a fire. 15 of the 226 total occupants were killed, including the First Officer and Captain.
- On September 1, 1983, Korean Air Lines 007 (a Boeing 747) bound for Seoul from New York City via Anchorage was shot down by a Soviet interceptor jet after pilot error drifted the plane into a restricted soviet air space, all passengers and crew on board were killed as the plane plummeted into the Sea of Japan and escalated tensions between the Soviet Union and the United States.
For many years, the airport was served by the Gimpo Line, a railway line that no longer exists. In the 1990s, Seoul Subway Line 5 was extended to Gimpo. On March 23, 2007, the AREX airport express line started operations to Incheon International Airport, with an extension to Seoul Station which opened in December 2010. Seoul Subway Line 9 also opened which links the airport to the Gangnam area.
- Korean airport statistics
- "Office Location." (Archive) Aviation and Railway Accident Investigation Board. Retrieved on February 15, 2012. "CVR/FDR analysis and wreckage laboratory : Gimpo International Airport 274 Gwahae-dong, Gangseo-gu, Seoul, Korea 157-711"
- "KAIB/AAR F0201." Korea Aviation Accident Investigation Board. 4/168. Retrieved on June 18, 2009. "The main office is located near Gimpo International Airport, and the flight recorder analysis and wreckage laboratories are located inside the airport."
- Aircraft accident Boeing 747-2B5B HL7445 Seoul-Gimpo (Kimpo) International Airport
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