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Domestic flights at Kansai airport to resume Friday after typhoon damage

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Every year , flood and cyclone and other natural disasters hit Japan without fail. So too in Asian countries, very often flood destroy crops, houses and submerge villages. Too much of urbanisation and leading a life away from Mother Nature create havoc and disturbances in almost all the countries. Of late, we have seen in USA too. I think we should focus more on leading a simple life without too much of materialistic one.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

 have travelled to many Asian cities and have very rarely seen a "convenient" airport

You have never been to Singapore? From downtown to plane is about 20 minutes. It does not get better than that anywhere.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

(posted before finished).

Narita's okay, the Keisei Skyliner is a big improvement, but landing there late evening (say 8.30 onwards) is no joke, and the shops and restaurants tends to close up early if you're arriving for a late night flight.

To be honest, I've found most of the (East) Asian airports that I do use pretty good when they're not excellent. By contrast, I don't much enjoy using Heathrow, or dealing with transport in and out of there.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I have travelled to many Asian cities and have very rarely seen a "convenient" airport.

I can think of a few - some now sidelined or retired though.

Kai Tak, right in the city. Baiyun, same. Songshan, same. CKS/Taoyuan - out of the city but good transport links. Chek Lap Kok - further out than Kai Tak, but not too far. Excellent transport links and brilliant design for moving quickly to or from buses, trains, or taxis to/from the arrivals/departures zone. Plus city check in so you can dump your bags before heading to the airport.

Haneda's convenient.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Yes smithinjapan I am seriously happy at how well things are going today compared to yesterday.

Large natural disasters have large repercussions.

I am involved in the community here and have been hearing about and seeing the damage. Some of my colleagues have no water, half a roof over their heads, have lost their vehicles even too!

Had this happened in any other country that I have been in (around 25-30) I don’t think the express trains would be running, and things being this far on their way to being fixed.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I agree KIX has lots of technical issues, surely mistakes in design but they had to build it. If it sinks, they will rebuild... The real discussion is how to improve it.

Itami seems more convenient.

Itami convenient for your little person. It could take only 10 to 20% of KIX's flights. It was already too small in the 1970's. Access (road and train ) was already very insufficient (and it is still permanent traffic jam now with underused airport). Newer big planes could not access, now they are all big. There were years when half of passengers from Kansai would take bus/train/Shinkansen to Narita, as Itami could not handle it. They tried everything to upscale it more, that's not doable... Destroy houses around like in Narita ? That concerned hundreds of tiny farm houses for Narita and they nearly got a civil war. That would be 100 000 hundreds of big buildings for getting an Itami still too narrow. Plus the noise concerning 3 millions inhabitants, that makes night flights unacceptable. There is huge need for night cargo shipping, it is even increasing with current trend of Japanese economy. That's why KIX was build.

why to build an international airport in the middle of the ocean

It's maxi 100 meters away from coast. There is no possible land in Kansai. Having it on the sea , it doubles as a port so they can work directly with Osaka and Kobe's ports without adding lines of trucks on over-saturated land roads.

Wakayama prefecture is sparsely populated with plenty of land. 

Not so sparsely populated on the coast, they could have at the limit done a coastal airport with only part of reclaimed land (not a big difference). Inside lands are not fit. They have not found enough space and nobody wanted a second Itami, too narrow and with no margin to enlarge.

Nagoya airport more? From Nagoya by Shinkansen 

Nagoya was build decades later (and yes, in that way, you can say that the 4 passengers they have, they can commute by Shinkansen, it's Nagoya the gadget airport). You think the Shinkansen can carry so many full planes of tourists for cheap ? And how would you carry the volume of cargo needed in Kansai ?

5 ( +5 / -0 )

Despite KIX being inconveniently located, it is very clean, efficient, easy to navigate and far more preferable to Itami in my opinion. I hope they get it up and running soon.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

KIX is fine for the carrot-crunching, mikan-munching yokels in south Osaka and Wakayama, but what about the rest of us who live in civilisation? At best it’s an hour-and-a-half to Kyoto if you’re prepared to be price gouged. Who it their right sense would locate an airport there?

Plenty of pork in Wakayama, it seems.

-2 ( +3 / -5 )

This discussion begs the question why not use the Nagoya airport more? From Nagoya by Shinkansen both Tokyo and Osaka are close. I have no idea who had the idea or why to build an international airport in the middle of the ocean at KIX when Wakayama prefecture is sparsely populated with plenty of land. This immeasurably added to cost and risk.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

i feel sorry for Peach airlines. it their airport. combini staff will be overworked, after the 2.5 hour traffic jam on the bridge.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

thepersoniamnow: "I am amazed at the hard work and how fast its all been remedied."

Hahaha! It's all been REMEDIED? Seriously?

-1 ( +3 / -4 )

"Concerns have been raised about the impact of a prolonged closure of the key transport hub on business, trade and tourism."

Make no mistake, peeps, this is what is feeling the haste in reopening -- not safety assurances. Keep in mind the same president of KIX that says they handled things perfectly and there were no problems also said only 3000 people were trapped when it was closer to 8000, had people sleeping on newspapers, and ultimately called in the SDF to be rescued. Also keep in mind that the company responsible for the bridge to the airport and its maintenance have stated they are not able to even get to the damaged parts to asses it, while Abe has said it is "okay".

My question is who is going to take responsibility when an accident happens because of the rush? and are they going to say, "How could we have known?"?

-1 ( +4 / -5 )

The main reason why Itami and Kobe are not capable of becoming International Airports is that most flights coming in from overseas are long-haul extended fuselage planes (that are longer than domestic) and require a minimum 3,500m runway. The A380 requires a 4,000m runway which is partly why KIX built a second runway to add to its existing 3,500m one.

False. A380 to KIX is only used by Thai Airways. Most international flights to/from KIX are served by medium wide-bodies (B767, 787 or A330, A350), which are also used everyday by ANA and JAL in ITM even for domestic flights. Heck, even many flights to S. Korea or China are using narrow-bodies (B737 or A320), especially the low cost carriers.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Excellent work! Izumisano is kind of a mess right now with a large crowd every am and buses and taxis and all sorts of alternative transport due to the next station being burned.

I am amazed at the hard work and how fast its all been remedied.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

KIX is an amazing airport, while you are in it. It's getting to and from that's a pain in the butt.

ITM is way more convenient to North Osaka/Kyoto. But, it definitely doesn't compare when it comes to the quantity and quality of restaurants and shops.

At least there was no shortage of food and drink for those who were stuck there.

4 ( +4 / -0 )

The problem is not just that people got stranded, but if I'm to go by interviews of Japanese people on TV, KIX left them in the dark as to what was going on. If that's the case, I can only imagine how confused people from overseas must have been.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

There was a rumor that Kobe Airport wants to start having international flights with low cost carriers. Perhaps now is the time.

The main reason why Itami and Kobe are not capable of becoming International Airports is that most flights coming in from overseas are long-haul extended fuselage planes (that are longer than domestic) and require a minimum 3,500m runway. The A380 requires a 4,000m runway which is partly why KIX built a second runway to add to its existing 3,500m one.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Gotta wonder about all the foreign tourists here who can't get home and the Japanese tourists now stuck in places like expensive London who cant come home.

No direct flights between KIX and the UK.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Also many here don't know about the noise pollution problem that Itami residents had regarding the airport in the past. The same thing you defend Okinawa residents about.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

I wonder half-kidding if there's a level on the ceiling of the control room depicting the pitching angle of KIX

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

I agree with Tokyo-EngrToday that now might be a good time to start utilizing Kobe Airport more. They have so few flights there. Kix/Itami can divert many of the planes that were due to land there to Kobe. (I'm not sure how difficult the logistics of this would be though.)

If they really are worried about the economic impact of not having KIX/Itami up and running at full volume, then they should try and use that underutilized third airport.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Living in Wakayama-shi I say that KIX is a bless, being just a 1 hour away is great. KIX not only serve the big cities but also the adjacent prefectures. Going to Itami used to take so much time and was very inconvenient, but I do understand it might have been more convinient for people in Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto as is more central.

Having said that, lets hope KIX is more prepared for the nankai trough earthquake. If the bridge breaks and place starts to sink, it will be very hard to save everyone stuck in that ever-submerging airport.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

We are North American and have travelled through both KIX and Itami several times the last few years. The absense of hotels around Itami on international booking sites is a real issue, other than that it seems convenient and human in scale. KIX in comparison is further out and very time consuming to get to and to use. Even after the long process of checking in and security there is still usually a train ride to the gate. I cancelled staying at the compartment hotel there for fear of a tsunami soon after the recent earthquake. I have often wondered about the logic of having a major airport in the middle of the ocean in a quake and tsunami prone country. It seems a bit mind boggling that there is only one connection to the mainland and now that it is broken steps will be taken to ensure that this will not happen again. Was there never a plan B in place?

1 ( +2 / -1 )

Also since most of the tourists will visit Kyoto and not Osaka, going from KIX to Kyoto is quite a trip on it's own.

I actually found it easier going from KIX to Kyoto than to Osaka, believe it or not. Because MK Taxi and Yasaka Taxi both have shared taxi services to most areas in Kyoto city (I think the MK one also goes to Kobe/Ashiya). They are cheap and convenient, and you can reserve ahead of time (nobody told me that on my first trip to Kyoto to study abroad, and I wound up on the city bus with a huge luggage when people were still coming home from work. Imagine the looks..).

I don't know why they can't provide the same for Osaka, Amagasaki, etc.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I guess it all depends on where one lives. Surely KIX will be pretty convenient for people living in south Osaka. But for the people who live more north it's quite far. For them the ferry in Kobe won't be an option either.

As a person who is living and working in Himeji, I can relate to this. It's technically still in Kansai area, but whenever I want to travel internationally, going to KIX takes about 2.5 hours by direct bus, and going by train isn't much faster either. So I end up travelling domestic first via Kobe or Itami to either of Tokyo's airports to reach many international destinations; this routing also applies whenever my company books for overseas trip, so I think this kinda defeats the purpose of moving all international flights to KIX altogether.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

"We will make preparations so the same thing will not happen again"

These will include: the building of a third runway to replace the first one once it has disappeared beneath the sea, and the building of a road/rail tunnel to replace the bridge. It should only cost a few trillion Yen, which can be added to the existing debt.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

I think it's a bit silly to complain about the location, but JR should have a dedicated train that runs directly to the airport, instead of having only the first four carriages of every second or third (?) regular express trains going there. I used to help out foreign tourists when waiting on the platform myself because they had no clue where to line up. Yes, there are English announcements but they are to very hard to hear at times, and not all foreigners speak English fluently, if at all. Mind you, I don't catch the trains that way recently, so maybe everything has changed?

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Also since most of the tourists will visit Kyoto and not Osaka, going from KIX to Kyoto is quite a trip on it's own.

For Domestic tourists and Western tourists, this is true. For the majority of tourists, most of which are from Asian countries, Osaka is the main attraction. USJ, shopping in Shinsaibashi, strolling through Shinsekai and heck, even Kaiyukan are huge tourist attractions now. Go look!

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Funny how people talk about the inconvenience of Kansai Airport compared to other airports. Narita takes 90 minutes to the city by train. Chubu takes about an hour. To get to Itami Airport, you either have to change the train 2 or 3 times or take a train to Tennoji where you hop on a bus that gets stuck in traffic on tge Hanshin highway.

I guess it all depends on where one lives. Surely KIX will be pretty convenient for people living in south Osaka. But for the people who live more north it's quite far. For them the ferry in Kobe won't be an option either.

Also since most of the tourists will visit Kyoto and not Osaka, going from KIX to Kyoto is quite a trip on it's own.

4 ( +5 / -1 )

The government says domestic service at Kansai International Airport will resume on Friday

"Domestic"? Isn't the overwhelming amount of the region's domestic capacity handled by Itami, plus Kobe Airport, while KIX does the international?

It would make more sense to transfer any of KIX's domestic capacity to the domestic airports for now and focus on getting the international flights off the ground.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Funny how people talk about the inconvenience of Kansai Airport compared to other airports. Narita takes 90 minutes to the city by train. Chubu takes about an hour. To get to Itami Airport, you either have to change the train 2 or 3 times or take a train to Tennoji where you hop on a bus that gets stuck in traffic on tge Hanshin highway.

I always drive to Kansai Airport where I grab one of the many 500yen per day parking spots and take train one station to the airport. Hanwa highway never has traffic past Sakai IC and I never have to worry about being late. Itami Airport has almost no cheap parking and you have to go on the crowded Hanshin highway through the city and never know if your drive will be smooth or not.

I have travelled to many Asian cities and have very rarely seen a "convenient" airport.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Too early for the negative energy geared towards KIX.It doesn't help.Hopefully the powers that be take stock of what's happened and improve things.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

Hmmm, why? Itami seems more convenient.

Why not both?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

There was a rumor that Kobe Airport wants to start having international flights with low cost carriers. Perhaps now is the time.

Hmmm, why? Itami seems more convenient.

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

Possibly an urban legend, but the landing fees at KIX used to be referred to as "one million yen a wheel", which was said to be "world-leading". After all the fanfare when it was built, it didn't take long for the European airlines to start pulling out.

Like I suspect a lot of inaka people, I like Narita because its cheap to park there. The hotels are cheaper than ones in Tokyo too, if you need to stay before a morning flight. The journey time to central Tokyo can't be that different to Heathrow to one bit of central London. I bet its more pleasant as well. I seem to remember CdG being out of the way too.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

long term planning, well those in charge of such things seem view a long term plan as being where to spend their otentacious cash packed envelopes.

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

Gotta wonder about all the foreign tourists here who can't get home and the Japanese tourists now stuck in places like expensive London who cant come home. Will there be any financial compensation?

KIX was controversial when it was planned and opened. Some raved about its innovation, while others expressed concerns about the risky nature of its engineering and structure.

Similar story with Narita, vis a vis its long distance from Tokyo. A Shinkansen was supposed to connect it to Kanto's population centres but that plan failed, and for years proper and frequent ground links were non-existent. So Haneda was upgraded as a work-around. Then later came all the new but empty provincial airports.

The Japanese can't built airports without creating controversy and concerns.

2 ( +6 / -4 )

...saying the powerful typhoon was "far beyond expectations."

For a low island that is subsiding into a bay with known tidal surges, I'd say it met its expectations.

4 ( +6 / -2 )

"far beyond expectations ... we will make preparations so the same thing will not happen again"

This sounds all-too familiar. They should print this up and distribute it to officials throughout the country. Sort of a get out of jail free card, similar to "I was drunk and don't remember a thing."

Have lived in Kansai for more than 10 years and loathe making the trip to KIX. Being from North America, I'm usually forced to use the Itami-Narita route. And though I live in Kobe, our airport is a useless white elephant.

5 ( +7 / -2 )

Regardless of whether KIX is cool or not, a lot of people there depend on it for their livelihoods, and it is there and we need it. Hopefully it’s up and running soon.

Next time they should be better prepared for typhoons!

8 ( +10 / -2 )

I remember when KIX opened (used it right after it did). It was a cool replacement for Itami. However from the beginning it has had problems with "sinking" (although the new runway seems to not have the same issues).

I have to agree with Yubaru. The airport is not convenient and not longer so cool.

Being without power for so long in the terminal area is also not so good either. I imagine the power cables were running along the bridge on the side of the bridge that was struck by the ship and were damaged. Good engineering would have run critical infrastructure on both sides of the bridge (i.e. one feeder on one side and one on the other). But that is only a guess on my part.

There was a rumor that Kobe Airport wants to start having international flights with low cost carriers. Perhaps now is the time.

Haneda has become a great airport and has been rated the #1 domestic airport globally several times in the last 5 years.

The typhoon was really bad but having the airport closed for a week....that is pretty drastic and does not look too good

1 ( +6 / -5 )

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