Gov’t plans to pick new site for relocation of Daegu airport in one or two months

July 12, 2016

SEOUL, July 12 (Yonhap) — The South Korean government plans to pick a relocation site for an airport that can serve Daegu in one or two months, with some provincial governments expressing their interest in hosting the new transportation hub, a source said Tuesday.

The project to relocate the airport whose runway has been used by both military and civilian aircraft has been put on a fast track since President Park Geun-hye called on her government on Monday to forge ahead with the move.

The project has been long-cherished by residents in Daegu, some 302 kilometers south of Seoul. The residents have complained of aircraft noise, development restrictions and other issues associated with the airport and military facilities in their neighborhood.

“Many provincial governments are interested (in hosting the airport),” a senior official at the presidential office Cheong Wa Dae told Yonhap News Agency over the phone, declining to be named.

“The process of selecting a site for the relocation is expected to take one or two months, and (the government) plans to select the site as soon as possible,” the official added.

To pick the optimal site, the government plans to set up a task force consisting of officials from related government agencies including the ministries of national defense, finance, and infrastructure and transport.

As the new airport is to be used by some 5.5 million residents in Daegu and North Gyeongsang Province, the government considers the proximity to the region a top priority. It seeks to select a site located within less than an hour drive from Daegu and many parts of North Gyeongsang region.

Potential candidate sites include Yeongcheon, Gunwi, Uiseong, Chilgok and Yecheon, all of which are in North Gyeongsang Province.

Among them, Yeongcheon, Gunwi and Uiseong have already expressed their desire to host the airport.

“The relocation project will proceed more swiftly than other past projects as there are some that want to host the airport,” a government source said, declining to be identified.

The municipality in Daegu will finance the construction of all airport facilities at the new site with profits from the development of the current airport site, officials said.

This graphic, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows President Park Geun-hye against the backdrop of an airport in Daegu. (Yonhap)

This graphic, provided by Yonhap News TV, shows President Park Geun-hye against the backdrop of an airport in Daegu. (Yonhap)