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KAC to use digital construction management for new Gadeok airport

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A 3D digital twin, or a virtual replica of Gimpo International Airport's domestic terminal in western Seoul / Courtesy of Korea Airport Corp.

A 3D digital twin, or a virtual replica of Gimpo International Airport's domestic terminal in western Seoul / Courtesy of Korea Airport Corp.

By Lee Hae-rin

The Korea Airports Corp. (KAC) will implement Building Information Modeling (BIM) for a new airport on Gadeok Island off the coast from Korea's southern port city of Busan, the company announced, Wednesday. The airport is slated to be completed by the end of 2029.

BIM is a technology that enables 3D visualization and automation concerning the overall construction process in order to enhance quality and productivity.

Applying BIM technology enables the simulation of real-life construction processes, allowing for the prediction and analysis of information results.

The technology enhances productivity and efficiency in construction and creates high economic added-value by saving some 10 to 30 percent of the costs, the company explained.

Since April, the KAC has been in charge of digital construction management by introducing BIM technology and the digital twin system in the construction until the new airport launches in 2030.

Previously in October 2020, the KAC became the first entity in the airport industry worldwide to acquire BIM International Organization Standardization (ISO).

Last month, the airport operator acquired a patent with BIM technology that minimizes errors with the digital twin-based smart airport management system.

Most airport construction projects around the world have adopted BIM technology. Additionally, several countries worldwide have already mandated the use of BIM technology in construction, according to KAC.

The Korean government is also pushing to introduce the digital construction management system by 2030 in all state-led construction projects.

"Amid changing trends to apply BIM technology in broader categories in the airport industry, KAC aims to contribute to enhancing the country's competitiveness by applying BIM technology in all procedures of an airport's construction," said Lee Jung-ki, KAC's executive vice president and acting vice president, during a press briefing.

Korea has been pushing for the early opening of the new airport on Busan's Gadeok Island, especially during its World Expo 2030 bid.

The 10.5 trillion won ($7.62 billion) construction project was initially slated to be complete by June 2035, but it was moved forward to the end of 2029 in order to synchronize with the prestigious event that Korea ultimately failed to secure.

The government forecasts that the new airport will yield an economic impact of nearly 29 trillion won. It is anticipated to contribute over 18 trillion won to the economic growth of Korea's second-largest city, Busan, and bolster the economy of the broader regions of Gyeongsang Province as well, as per the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport.

However, the project's bidding process closed last week with zero applicants from construction firms.

The government proceeded with opening the rebidding last Friday. It will remain open until June 24.

Lee Hae-rin


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