Gimpo AirportGimpo Airport (Gimpo Gonghang (김포 공항; 金浦空港) in Korean; sometimes romanized as Kimpo) was the main international airport for Seoul, and therefore for South Korea, until 2001, when Incheon International Airport took over. Its IATA Airport Code was SEL until 2001, when it was changed to GMP. Two airlines--Korean Air and Asiana Airlines--provide frequent domestic service to Gimpo Airport.
The airport originally started out as a runway built by US forces in 1951 during the Korean War and has since grown into a much more significant airport that is capable of handling 226,000 flights a year. The airport had 1 domestic and 2 international terminals before its international function was replaced by Incheon. Gimpo currently has two runways, 3,600m × 45m and 3,200m × 60m.
Gimpo airport is located south of the Han River, west of Seoul, in the city of Gimpo (Gimpo-si (김포시; 金浦市)) in Gyeonggi Province. For many years, the airport was served by the Gimpo Line (Gimposeon (김포선; 金浦線)), a railway line that no longer exists. In the 1990s, Seoul Subway Line 5 was extended to Gimpo. For 500 Won (roughly 50 cents US at the time), one could take the subway from Gimpo Airport all the way into downtown Seoul. The airport is still served by the subway, as well as by buses to Seoul and to Incheon International Airport.
In 1983, a Korean Air flight that was supposed to land here, Korean Air Flight KAL-007, ran into Soviet air space and was shot down. All passengers died. In 1998, a Korean Air Boeing 747 that had taken off from this airport, crashed before landing at General Antonio B. Won Pat International Airport, killing all but 37 of its passengers.