Lotte Faces the Air Force Over Skyscraper Plans

The Air Force on Monday reiterated its objections to Lotte Group's plan to put up a 112-story "Second Lotte World" in Jamsil, Seoul, which at 555 meters would be the nation's tallest.

The Air Force issued a statement to elucidate its stance on the plans, which noted that the problem lies in the fact that the high-rise Lotte Group plans to build is located in the safety control space for the final approach route for instrument flying, and the construction plans cannot ensure people's lives and property.

It added that any building higher than 203 m cannot be built in the location in question. Instrument flying refers to piloting while relying on the instrument panel at an altitude of 279 m, in times when pilots are unable to fly by sight due to low visibility or bad weather.

In July 2003, the Air Force, Lotte, and government bodies asked the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration to give their take on the issue.

However the FAA stated that the construction plan requires changes in some instrument flying procedures and the application of the procedures thus altered would require inspection by specialists, but there are possibilities that the plans, if completed, would give rise to a variety safety issues.

englishnews@chosun.com / Feb. 20, 2006 21:00 KST