Last update:

Second airport in Jeju (air force base), south coast, South Korea

Communities on Jeju, South Korea's 'island of peace', are resisting a second airport threatening the island's farming. They have set up a protest camp and their resistance is garnering support from many organizations.


Jeju, also called "The Island of Peace", is located off the coast of the South Korean peninsula. It is the biggest island of the Jeju autonomous province. The population of the island measures 604,000 [1]. It was argued that Jeju International Airport in Yongdam-dong, Jeju City, which has served the island since 1958, lacks the capacity to handle the rapidly growing numbers of tourists and flights [8]. In November 2015, the development plans for a second airport on Jeju island were released. The villages which will be affected by the project are Onpyeong, Sinsan, Susan 1, Nansan and Goseong. These villages were not consulted and were not asked to give their consent to the new airport being built [1]. The provincial government considered three alternatives; expanding the current airport, built a new airport with two runways, or build a second airport at another location. The third option was chosen, arguing it would cause less environmental and social disruption than the other two, and also it was the most cost-efficient of the three alternatives [16]. Apart from the airport itself, the plans include also an accompanying Air City, constituted by surrounding aviation dependent facilities such as malls, hotels, resorts, theme parks, golf courses and other facilities [1].

See more
Basic Data
Name of conflict:Second airport in Jeju (air force base), south coast, South Korea
Country:Republic of Korea
State or province:South Korea
Location of conflict:Susan-ri, Sinsan-ri, Nansan-ri, Goseong-ri and Onpyeong-r in Jeju
Accuracy of locationHIGH (Local level)
Source of Conflict
Type of conflict. 1st level:Infrastructure and Built Environment
Type of conflict. 2nd level:Tourism facilities (ski resorts, hotels, marinas)
Ports and airport projects
Military installations
Specific commodities:Land
Tourism services
Transport services, military services
Project Details and Actors
Project details

The second airport project includes building a 3,200-meter runway with a budget of 4.87 trillion won ($4.3 billion) to handle over 25 million visitors to the island a year [3, 17].

Project area:495
Level of Investment for the conflictive project4,300,650,000 [3]
Type of populationSemi-urban
Start of the conflict:2015
Company names or state enterprises: Posco Engineering & Construction (POSCO) from Republic of Korea
Relevant government actors:The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation
Ministry of Strategy and Finance
Environmental justice organizations (and other supporters) and their websites, if available:Alliance of the People of Jeju, Jeju green party, Jeju labor party, women peasants'movement Jeju, federation of farmers'associations Jeju, Minjung Party
Conflict & Mobilization
IntensityHIGH (widespread, mass mobilization, violence, arrests, etc...)
Reaction stagePREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups mobilizing:Farmers
International ejos
Local ejos
Social movements
Trade unions
Religious groups
Jeju green party
Forms of mobilization:Artistic and creative actions (eg guerilla theatre, murals)
Development of a network/collective action
Objections to the EIA
Official complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Occupation of buildings/public spaces
Hunger strikes and self immolation
Villagers were having their heads publicly shaved — a traditional form of desperate protest — by the fountain in front of the South Korea’s presidential office
are employing traditional shamanic culture to protest the airport that is slated to displace the populations of five villages [14]
100 life and peace bows [11]
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Air pollution, Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Food insecurity (crop damage), Noise pollution, Large-scale disturbance of hydro and geological systems
Socio-economical ImpactsPotential: Loss of livelihood, Loss of traditional knowledge/practices/cultures, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusPlanned (decision to go ahead eg EIA undertaken, etc)
Conflict outcome / response:New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Do you consider this an environmental justice success? Was environmental justice served?:Not Sure
Briefly explain:There was a substantial victory for the protesters: The two parties agreed to reevaluate the original feasibility studies done on the proposed area [12,15]. However, the ministry of land, infrastructure, and transport reinitiated the project as they ordered the service to start the general plan of the airport. They re-conducted the feasibility study regarding the site of the construction of the airport [9]. The mobilizations continue.
Sources & Materials
References to published books, academic articles, movies or published documentaries

[1] Roser Bridger 2016 Jeju Islanders resist airport megaproject. The Ecologist. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[2] Roser Bridger (GAAM) 2017. Second Jeju airport resistance intensifies – protest camp and hunger strike (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

GAAM. Indigenous Islanders Continue Fight Against 2nd Airport on Jeju Island, South Korea–Hunger Strike Passes its 40th Day (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[3]Jeju reviews second airport plan again (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[4] Plane Madness? Second Airport Plan Angers Jeju Islanders. Ben Jackson. 2017. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[6] Villagers fight second airport plan.2016 (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[7] Protest grows over construction of new Jeju airport (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[8] Jeju, Gimhae airport projects stir renewed controversy (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[9] 제주 2공항 건설 행정절차 6개월만에 재개 (4th of Jan. the ministry of land, infrastructure, and transport reinitiated project as they ordered the service to start the general plan of the airport.) (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[10] 제주민중연대 출범…"영리병원 철회·제2공항 반대"16th Feb Alliance of the People of Jeju is created with the participation of 9 organizations based in Jeju. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[12] Substantial Victory for Indigenous Villages Opposing 2nd Airport on Jeju Island, South Korea? (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[13] Indigenous Islanders Continue Fight Against 2nd Airport on Jeju Island, South Korea–Hunger Strike Passes its 40th Day (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[14] Indigenous Islanders are Employing Shamanic Symbolism to Resist Jeju Island’s Proposed 2nd Airport. (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[15] 부실의혹 검증 전격 합의...제주 제2공항 갈등 해결 전기 (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

[16] New Airport to Bring Growth to Jeju Island (accessed on 21.02.2019)
[click to view]

[17] Central for aviation
[click to view]

Construction of new Jeju airport delayed due to protests (accessed on 20.02.2019)
[click to view]

Related media links to videos, campaigns, social network

[5] Save Jeju now website
[click to view]

[11] Activist facebook page
[click to view]

A video by Lee Ki-cheol. On Feb. 25th, around 100 people gathered in front of Jeju Island government hall to carry out 100 life and peace bows
[click to view]

제주 제2공항 반대대책위 공식출범 ‘총력투쟁’ 예고 (Jeju 2nd Airport Anti-Air Police Officially Launched)
[click to view]

Meta information
Contributor:Emmy Iwarson, Rose Stay Grounded, Hyerim Yoon, SM (ICTA-UAB)
Last update18/08/2019
Conflict ID:3295
Legal notice / Aviso legal
We use cookies for statistical purposes and to improve our services. By clicking "Accept cookies" you consent to place cookies when visiting the website. For more information, and to find out how to change the configuration of cookies, please read our cookie policy. Utilizamos cookies para realizar el análisis de la navegación de los usuarios y mejorar nuestros servicios. Al pulsar "Accept cookies" consiente dichas cookies. Puede obtener más información, o bien conocer cómo cambiar la configuración, pulsando en más información.