The South Korean government launched a special inspection of the country’s largest flag carrier, Korean Air Lines, on August 6, one day after one of the airline’s 737-900s overran a runway upon arrival at Japan’s Niigata Prefecture Airport (RJSN). The special safety inspection is expected to last three weeks.
Geography of Japan
For the eighth year in a row, officials from Japan’s Nagoya Airport are here at NBAA (Booth No. 3094) to highlight business aviation in the region.
As part of Japan’s resolve to get back on its feet after the devastation of the earthquake and tsunami that hit the eastern part of the country in April, Nagoya Airport has come to the NBAA show (Booth No. C8026) to make it clear that it is perfectly safe to travel to Japan.
The May 14 closure of the Hamaoka nuclear power plant on the southeastern coast of Japan has raised concerns of power shortages at Mitsibushi Aircraft in Nagoya, among several other companies in central Japan.
Last month, for the second time in a little over two years, an island nation was beset by a cataclysmic natural disaster that took thousands of lives. Unlike the 7.0 earthquake that destroyed Haiti’s capital Port au Prince and killed more than 300,000 people in January 2010, the disaster in Japan last month is still unfolding weeks later in ways that could affect the region for years to come.
In late 2005, Japan should have a new airport with facilities available for business aviation. The Kitakyushu Airport is planned for a man-made island to be established in the Sea of Suou at the northern tip of Kyushu. The Kitakyushu Air Terminal Co. oversaw the award of the design contract for the new airport, choosing St. Louis design firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK).
Japan’s minister for administrative reform and deregulation has called for Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports to be privatized and merged and managed by a single operating company, arguing that the facilities would be run more efficiently in the private sector. The minister said he expects a privatization plan for the country’s main gateways to be approved by year-end.
Delegates from Nagoya Airport are here at the NBAA Convention to promote the airport as Japan’s business aviation gateway. The field has seen a 32-percent increase in business aviation traffic, climbing from 90 movements in 2005 to 119 last year. This might not seem like much, but Japan has not generally been a hospitable environment for business aircraft operators since it holds pilots to airline-qualification requirements to fly there.
Early last month several hundred people attended a business aviation conference in Nagoya, Japan, focused on the planned opening early next year of Komaki Airport to business aviation. (For more on business aviation access in Japan, see “Washington Report” on page 102.) Among the speakers at the Nagoya conference was NBAA president Shelley Longmuir. Here are excerpts from her presentation.
Tokyo’s Nagoya Airport remained on schedule to become Japan’s first hub facility dedicated to business and commuter aircraft. The airport is expected to serve its last major airline flight at approximately 10 p.m. on February 16. All airliners will be ferried that night to the new Central Japan International Airport. The Aichi local government will take over operation of Nagoya at midnight.
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