Gov’t to allow more flights over Tokyo as Haneda slots increase


As the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics approach, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism plans to alter flight routes and times to Haneda Airport in order to accommodate more flights to and from the airport.

The ministry is also planning on extending the time planes are allowed to fly through the airspace over Shinagawa, Ota, Edogawa and Koto wards, by four hours in the evening, Sankei Shimbun reported.

Furthermore, the ministry plans to increase the number of annual departures and landings from the current 90,000 to 129,000 by 2020.

However, voices of opposition have begun flooding in from residents living around the airport as the increased number of flights will also mean elevated levels of noise. The ministry hosted a meeting last week in Edogawa Ward to explain the new routes and flight times.

Up until this point, airspace over the city center has been off limits to plane travel, requiring aircraft to approach Haneda over Tokyo Bay and Chiba Prefecture. The new flight routes will go into effect from mid-September.

Most of the extra slots at Haneda are expected to go to foreign airlines, a transport ministry official said.

A total of five new runways are scheduled to be built at both Haneda and Narita to accommodate more flights in the future.

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