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South Korea plans $3bn expansion of Seoul's Incheon Airport

South Korea has announced a 4 trillion Korean won ($3.11 billion) expansion of Seoul's Incheon International Airport that will include a second terminal and new aircraft aprons.

Construction will begin in 2011 and the airport will be able to handle 41% more passengers and 29% more cargo when the project is completed in 2015, says the Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs. It adds that the schedule could change depending on the demand for air travel.

The plans include a second terminal that allows the airport to handle 62 million passengers annually, up from the current 44 million. An expansion of the cargo terminal will increase its capacity to 5.8 million tonnes from 4.5 million tonnes.

There will also be more aprons to park aircraft, and a railway line to downtown Seoul will be extended to the new facilities, says the ministry.

Given that the airport opened its third runway only in 2008, the ministry says that there is no immediate requirement for new ones. However, it adds that it plans to build two more runways after 2015.

The expansion is part of the government's attempts to boost the economy through large-scale spending in construction projects. This is to offset falling local consumption and exports in Asia's fourth-largest economy. The project will generate about 80,000 new jobs, says the ministry.

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