Incheon International Airport is one of the largest and busiest airports in the world and usually the first stop for visitors arriving Seoul, South Korea. The airport is also ranked as one of the best airports in the world, with a 5 star rating by Skytrax. Over 34 million international passengers passed through here in 2011 alone. The IATA code is ICN.
During the 1990s, international traffic to Korea increased, in part due to exposure from the 1988 Summer Olympics. Gimpo International Airport alone could not handle the influx of passengers and a new airport was planned.
Construction began in late 1992 on reclaimed land on two islands 70 kilometers (43 miles) west of downtown Seoul. It finally opened in March 2001 after 8 years of construction.
To keep up with the increasing number of passengers to Seoul, the airport planned for four phases of additional construction. The first phase ended when the airport opened in 2001. The second phase began in February 2002 and completed in June 2008. The third phase is planned to begin in 2017 while the fourth phase is planned to begin in 2020.
This definitely is not your average airport and one of the best airports in the world to have a layover. The airport has such features as a golf course, indoor garden, museum, ice skating rink, and more which can easily fill your time during a layover.
The airport claims that departing passengers only need 16 minutes to process while arriving passengers only need 12 minutes to process. When arriving and departing, plan for extra time as passengers need to take a shuttle train between the concourse and gates at the main terminal. Other things to take into consideration are walking times to gates and secondary security at gates. Most passengers who arrive 90 minutes before their flight should have ample time to make their flight without rushing.
International arrivals at Incheon International Airport will first have to go through immigration and customs before entering the country. You will be required to show your passport and visa, if you need one. The customs agent will also take your photo and a digital copy of your fingerprints before proceeding. This process is usually quick and hassle free.