Narita airport proposes new runway, longer operation hours


A conference between Narita International Airport, nine surrounding cities, Chiba Prefecture, and the transport ministry regarding future plans for the airport was held this week.

The proposed new plans include adding a new 3,500-meter runway to be called runway C, which will be the third runway at the airport, easing restrictions on nighttime flight regulations, increasing three hours of takeoff and arrival times, and expanding the facility area from the current 1,400 hectares to 2,400, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Conference members said it is important to gain the understanding of local residents about the plans and give thorough explanations regarding countermeasures for noise issues that may arise from the new nighttime flight slots. Two recommendations are installing soundproof windows and requesting an increase in subsidies for further noise-prevention measures.

The changes will enable Narita airport to increase takeoff and landing slots from the current 300,000 to 500,000 a year, by extending runway B toward the north while adding the new runway approximately 3,325 meters long toward the southeast. The current curfew from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. will be eased to allow departures and landings from 5 a.m. until 1 a.m.

Enlarging facilities to 2,400 hectares will mean that that approximately 200 homes will have to go.

The government believes the changes are necessary to make Narita more competitive with airports of similar size in other parts of Asia and Europe.

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Haneda is way more convenient for anyone who lives in Tokyo. Narita just has the convenience of cheap hotels.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Narita isn't that boring anymore. They're currently going through extensive renovation because of the 2020 Olympics.

-2 ( +0 / -2 )

Not so sure. Dead easy to catch the NEX from Mitaka or Shinjuku, Airport Bus also leaves from Kichijoji.

Now Haneda is a pain for everyone from Western Tokyo involving multiple transfers, etc. Narita is easier and quicker for us.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

I much prefer Narita to Haneda. The parking is reasonably priced so we can drive in (no need to lug heavy cases onto crowded rush hour Tokyo commuter trains) and best of all we can get to Narita without the hassle of having to go through Tokyo at all.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Nobody wants to go to Narita, it's a travel in itself. Huge boring airport. Expand Haneda and close Narita.

So close a major international airport, congesting Haneda beyond belief because its a bit far and "boring" for someone named Japan Violet?

Didn't really think that through, did you?

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Fadamor: " The "peeing contest" seems to be REDUCING landing costs."

Reducing them to what? Double the cost of other nation's instead of triple? The competitiveness is based on existing structures, without increased overhead. There is absolutely NO way that building a new runway is going to REDUCE costs, to the carriers or the consumers. Any past reductions will be wiped away by increases -- the peeing contest will be in who increases costs less -- and that is not a discount by definition.

Like I said, when KIX built their new runway costs went up and drove people away. Narita's not going to build this AND reduce costs.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Narita is much better than it used to be. Still, I expect to be long dead before a third runway is built. They still have land in the middle of the airport that the owner has refused to sell. If you land on the second runway you taxi past a building with "Down with Narita airport" banners on it.

I think it's good to have such strong property rights in Japan. In the "land of the free" (USA), land is often seized under eminent domain and given to commercial developers, something that is illegal but they do it anyway. It's a pity that Abe wants to change the constitution to enable a "state of emergency" under which such rights will be extinguished.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I live 12 miles from the end of runways 1L, 1C, and 1R at Dulles International Airport (Washington DC's version of "Narita") and directly under the approach path for runway 1L. Flights are flying near or over my house as late as 2 in the morning, yet I rarely notice them unless the house is unusually quiet at the time. Granted, because of prevailing winds flights rarely take off in the opposite direction over my house so I don't have to deal with engines set to take off power. That might be more annoying.

Stop with the pork barrel nonsense! The peeing contest with Haneda and Jaoan's other hundred airports does nothing but ensure landing costs increase and flights are diverted to Incheon as Asia's hub, or Thailand.

??? in 2013 Narita reduced their landing fees by 5.5% and most analysts attributed that to Haneda getting more international flights. The "peeing contest" seems to be REDUCING landing costs.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

@smith: Is there anything you like about Japan? I'd love to know why you actually bother staying here.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Stop with the pork barrel nonsense! The peeing contest with Haneda and Jaoan's other hundred airports does nothing but ensure landing costs increase and flights are diverted to Incheon as Asia's hub, or Thailand. Japan has the highest landing costs in the world at first, second, and I think fifth rank. When KIX built their second runway, against the desires of carriers (in response to being asked, then being told their opinions didn't matter), they went even further in the red and the airport ,amy be sold to foreign interests. Most international carriers cut or dropped flights altogether so that you have to fly to Narita to go abroad in many cases.

But they'll do it anyway, asking for government assistance; then ask for bailouts as they seek to make profits and get out of the resulting red.

-2 ( +2 / -4 )

Narita has improved in recent years. They now have omotenashi events going on in the airside areas. Also, check out their future plans.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are legitimate complaints about Narita, some that can be fixed (like the quality of its facilities) and some that can't (it's location).

And whether any of us like it or not, Haneda has absolutely no ability to assume all of the international traffic in and out of Narita. So, we are stuck with Narita,whether we like it or not.

I commend the authorities working on future planning for Narita. Here is the thing, though. Narita's history has been a history of land disputes with the farmers whose land was needed for its construction. It is the reason that the opening of the airport was delayed because of the control tower being vandalized, it was the reason for the insane security in the early years, it was the reason for the 2nd runway being shorter than originally planned and the whole taxiway to that runway zig-zagging all over the place.

So, now, they are talking about a 3rd runway that will require the acquisition / seizure of 200 homes to add the additional 1,000 hectares needed? Is it just me but does anyone else think that this is something that could take years, if it ever happens??

3 ( +3 / -0 )

"Nobody wants to go to Narita, it's a travel in itself."

I need to take a bus or 3 slow jam-packed commuter trains to get to Haneda. With Narita, I have the choice of airport express train services with reserved seating. Getting to Narita is a lot less hassle than Haneda, and I live in Tokyo.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Nobody wants to go to Narita, it's a travel in itself. Huge boring airport. Expand Haneda and close Narita.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

How about moving Narita 50km closer to Tokyo?

4 ( +4 / -0 )

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