Our member Jan visited during his trip through Asia among other things Gimpo International Airport (formerly also called Kimpo), Seouls major international gateway until 2001 when it was replaced by the larger Incheon International Airport. Nowadays it is still quite active with almost 25 million passengers in 2019 and it is mostly used for domestic and regional flights.
This means that traffic is largely dominated by the local carriers, Korean and Asiana, Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air and T’way Airlines. You also see a airlines from Japan or China, but they often seen only once during the day. Furthermore South Korea Coast Guard has a few aircraft based here, so if you are lucky, you might catch one of these as well. This makes Gimpo the ideal daytrip from Incheon, as with more days traffic will become very repetitive. It is advised to visit Gimpo with 14 ops (if that occurs during your visit), as this location was the only one tested and Incheon is not such a good option with that direction.
Writtyn by Jan Seba, YoungKyun Shin, Gerhard Schütz and Jason Lee. Last Change: December 2022 (Spot 4 added)
How was your trip? Rate this airport!
| (2 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)
|14R/32L||3.200 m (10.499 ft)|
|14L/32R||3.600 m (11.811 ft)|
|Terminal International||Intl. flights|
|Terminal Domestic||Domestic flights|
|Ladder||Not required at any of the postions.|
|Car/Public Transport||Car is not required. The spots can be reached using taxis and walking the remaining distance. For taxis, make sure the driver uses the taximeter, as they will try to rip you off with high prices if you simply jump in. It is advisable to prepare some maps at home to show to the taxi driver. Make sure the maps have the written name (in Korean!) of the location (or streets) where you want to go. Do not expect taxi drivers to speak English. Though some of them know one or two words it will never be enough so that you can explain where you want to go.|
|Restrooms||Inside terminal buildings.|
|Drinks/Food||Inside terminal buildings.|
|Hotels||It is better to either stay at Incheon or in the city.|
|Season||Weather is best in spring starting from March to May. October is also fairly good. Try to avoid the summer as it gets very rainy and the sun altitude is also very high.|
|14R/32L||Main arrival runway|
|14L/32R||Main departure runway|
|Spot #1 – Fields – 14R Arrivals Afternoon|
|WHERE||There are two ways to get to this location and both are complicated. If you are coming from the terminal (for example if you took the train to Gimpo from Incheon or the city centre) then the fastest way is to take a cab to Sangya-Dong. Make sure the taxi driver follows the road #39 in direction of Bucheon (it is signposted). Then have the driver drop you off close to one of the bridges next to the road and walk the remaining distance. Another way doesn’t involve a cab and might be easier, but you have to walk even further. Get off at the Gyeyang train station and select a walking route close to river north if the station. There should be a path through the park which leads you below the highway to the spotting location. Plan at least 30 minutes for the walk.|
|WHAT||This location is good for arrivals on RWY 14R during noon and afternoon. When you are in the field area you can vary you location based on your preferences for angle and distance.|
|TIME||Best light conditions are from 12.30 PM to sunset.|
|MISC.||You are in the middle of some fields and as long as you stick to the paths, the owners should be fine with that. Take what you need with you, there is nothing close by.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||120mm for a B747, 200mm for a B738|
|Spot # 2 – New Observation Deck – Ramp and runway movements|
|WHERE||The old deck at the KAC (Korean Airport Corporation) hab been closed permanently in 2020. But there is a new one, located in the Domestic Terminal on the 4th floor landside. It is outside on the roof and there are, as usual in Asia, wires installed to put your camera through.|
|WHAT||The spot is infront of the domestic ramp and is limited to this movements. Runway can be seen in the distance but be aware of APU exhaust and general heat distortion.|
|TIME||Depends on the angle but best time is in the morning hours. Night shots are possible too.|
|MISC.||Everything you need is within the nearby terminals. There is no entrance fee and closes at 10pm in the evening. More infos available at the offical website|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Taxiway A321: 180mm; Runway 738: 230mm, Ramp A330 = 50mm|
|Spot # 3 – Hill – 32 arrivals|
|WHERE||There is a park with a hill at the southern end of the airport, next to the Korean Air maintenance hangars. No public transportation available, but you can park your car on the road next to the hill. Walking from the domestic terminal is possible and around 2km. Just use the main road southwards until the Korean Air building and then turn right and continue to the spot.|
|WHAT||You can photograph 32L and 32R arrivals. Latter is less in use.|
|TIME||Best light conditions in the early morning hours.|
|MISC.||Nothing close. Bathrooms, restaurants, and convenience stores are all in the terminal.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||100 mm for a B737 and A321 on 32R|
|Spot #4 – Electric Station – 14 movements|
|WHERE||There is an Electric Station on Touch Down 14R and also Line Up 14L. to come to this place is by Taxi from Metrostation GYEYANG direct form ICN – one stop before GMP Airport. And from this Metro station by Taxi or Rent a Bike – Rentalstation directly at Metro) to the Gasstation DONGYANGDONG. We guided the Driver with the Help of Maps.me – from there 15 min walking. Once there, climb up the electric station to shot over the fence.|
|WHAT||You can photograph 14R touch downs and 14L line-ups|
|TIME||Best light conditions are from 12.30 PM to sunset.|
|MISC.||Nothing close, so be prepared with food and beverages.|
|FOCAL LENGTH||Around 200mm for A320/737 family|
There is a nice spotting spot at Osoe-dong. It’s available when 32R landing.
Please fill out this form to provide a new spotting loaction.
Hi, GMP KAC Building Observatory permanently closed after Covid outbreak. However GMP made new observatory in 4th floor of domestic terminal but it’s kinda hard to take picture due to barbed-wire fence. Morning time is great and available to spot at night as well. there’s no time limit but security might come to observatory to let people out at around 10pm since airport have curfew time.
Check out above link and use translate.
Hi, thanks for the info which is very useful. Do you have some photos for us to add them to the guide?
Be aware the KAC Viewing Deck is closed on mondays as i just learned
Hi Dirk, can you send us some more details about the viewing deck so we can add it to the guide.
Just back from a trip to Gimpo and there is a small viewing deck on the domestic terminal. It is upstairs through the food court. There was no opening or closing times shown but it was open at 08:15 when i was there. Very useful to use before the KAC deck opened up at 9.
Not forbidden anymore to photographing,open 9-17 and located in kac building located between domestic and international terminal,take lift to 6th floor,light only good until 10am
Hi Jan, I understand that there is an internal/external observation platform at the airport, but have also heard that photography is forbidden. Do you know if this is the case?