Report and photos by Henry Tenby
A brand new passenger airport and terminal building has opened for business at Wonsan, DPRK North Korea. It is believed construction on the new facility completed in the summer of 2015, and the first ever passengers to use the airport arrived from Pyongyang on September 24, 2015.
A large group of 140 aviation fans were flown to the airport, on board Air Koryo’s IL-18, Tu-134, and two An-24s, which arrived in sequence on the afternoon of September 24, 2015. The aviation group were treated to a tour of the new facility, and were welcomed to inspect the departure and arrival halls, as well as the spacious open air observation deck. How many airports opening in this day and age boast fabulous viewing decks.
The city of Wonson is situated some 60 Kms northeast of Pyongyang on Korea’s east coast facing the Korean sea. The region enjoys moderate weather and the natural beauty of the surrounding ocean and mountains makes it an ideal draw for tourists. The country is developing a growing tourist base which it hopes to expand significantly in coming years, to educate foreigners of the country’s cultural, historical and sight-seeing attractions. The new airport was built in anticipation of this increase in tourism.
The DPRK only allows several thousand tourist visitors per year. The new Wanson airport is situated on the beautiful coastline just a few minutes drive from the city centre.