For the first time in its history, Japan early next year will dedicate an airport to business and commuter aircraft. In February major airlines will vacate Nagoya Airport, on the outskirts of Tokyo, and move their operations to the new Central Japan International Airport. Nagoya is expected to be recast as Japan’s first hub airport for commuter and business aircraft.
Until now, Japan’s emphasis on scheduled airline flights severely restricted access to the country by private aircraft. The atmosphere was so unfriendly to business aviation that many Japanese corporations have been unable to base aircraft in their own country, with some companies deploying them to places as far away as Seattle.
While business aviation officials view the dedication of Nagoya Airport for commuter and business aircraft as a major milestone in Asia, a Van Nuys, Calif.-based aircraft management and charter firm notched another notable achievement earlier this year. The Air Group succeeded in its long quest to base aircraft (initially two Gulfstream Vs) at highly restricted Haneda Airport in Tokyo.