Military to Approve 112-Story Tower Near Seoul Airport

The Defense Ministry and the Air Force have reportedly decided to approve construction of the second Lotte World tower in Jamsil, Seoul, which they had earlier opposed on safety concerns for aircraft using the nearby Seoul Military Airport.

Military authorities are now said to be considering building a new runway at the airport, located in Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, or moving some aircraft to another air base.

Construction of the 112-story, 555-m-tall tower had been shelved in the face of opposition from military authorities who worried that the super-tall building could pose safety risks to aircraft landing at or taking off from Seoul Airport.

The authorities are now said to have changed their attitude and are reviewing new ideas reportedly to respect President Lee Myung-bak's suggestions.

A government source on Sunday said, "Military authorities are considering new options since President Lee recently stressed the need to study ways to approve construction of the second Lotte World by overhauling operations at Seoul Airport. The military authorities meanwhile have consistently argued against the removal of the airport."

Options now being considered include a new runway placed in a different direction to eliminate the possibility of an aircraft collision with the office tower, moving transport and reconnaissance aircraft to other air bases, or turning the airport into a heliport.

englishnews@chosun.com / May 19, 2008 06:17 KST