The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transportation said Thursday it will investigate how seven deer were able to get onto the runway at Shin-Chitose Airport in Hokkaido.
The deer were spotted at 7:15 p.m. on Tuesday, causing the closure of two runways for more than 2 1/2 hours, Sports Nippon reported. Thirty-four flights were affected. The Air Self-Defense Force Chitose Base in the area opened one of its runways to civilian flights to ease flight congestion.
The ministry's office at New Chitose Airport released a statement, saying, “Having this many deer intrude on the property is exceptional.”
The perimeter of the airport is surrounded by a two-meter high fence, and with no signs of any holes in the fence, how the deer got into area is unclear. It took a snowplow and nine cars about seven hours to get the deer out of the area.
However, Wednesday morning at 5 a.m., five more deer were seen near a runway and were rounded up by 9 a.m.© Japan Today