The government is reportedly pushing a plan to build an airport on Ulleungdo.
I’ll say that again—the government is reportedly pushing a plan to build an airport on Ulleungdo.
Capable of handling 50-seat planes, the airport would enable travelers to get from Gimpo to Ulleungdo in just an hour, and more importantly, allow you to get to Dokdo in about two hours.
The Ministry of Land, Transport and Maritime Affairs and the province of Gyeongsangbuk-do are apparently keen on the project. A government official told the Munhwa Ilbo that even if its economic feasibility ain’t great, an airport would be good in terms of policy analysis (read: keeping the Japanese away from Dokdo) and balanced regional development.
The plan is reportedly undergoing a feasibility study. If it passes, the new airport would be begin handling traffic from 2017.
Korean Wikipedia tells us the government has been playing with the idea of building an airport on Ulleungdo for some time. A 1,500m runway would not only be able to handle passenger planes like Bombardier Q300 or the ATR 42, but also turn Ulleungdo into an “unsinkable aircraft carrier” capable of handling P-3Cs, F-5s, T-50s and C-130s… just in case the Japanese got squirrely.
What I haven’t been able to figure out is where the hell you can build an airport on Ulleungdo—the only flat land on the island is at the bottom of a volcanic caldera.