Japan’s central hub for international flights, Nartita International Airport, near Tokyo, has made adjustments in order to allow tens of thousands of more arrivals and departures per year. The changes come as the airport faces criticism over its high landing fees charged to airlines, as well as increasing competition in other parts of Asia.
In addition to 10 new parking spots for planes, Narita airport has added a new 2,500-meter runway and increased the access to existing runways. This will allow the airport to handle as many as 270,000 flights per year, a big increase from the previous 250,000. A spokesman for Narita stated that competition is increasing in the business market, with other regional hubs, like Singapore, becoming more attractive to customers.
The airport has also been criticized for expensive landing fees, as well as the inconvenience of its location, about an hour away from Tokyo by express train. Narita officials have said they plan to reduce their landing fees by 50% next month, and keep them that way for the next three years. The airport’s motivation to be more attractive comes from Japan’s participation in an international deregulation pact with nearly two dozen other countries, including the U.S. The agreement allows airlines to choose their own routes to Japan, as well as frequency of arrivals and departures, without needing Tokyo’s approval first.[via AFP]