In late 2005, Japan should have a new airport with facilities available for business aviation. The Kitakyushu Airport is planned for a man-made island to be established in the Sea of Suou at the northern tip of Kyushu. The Kitakyushu Air Terminal Co. oversaw the award of the design contract for the new airport, choosing St. Louis design firm Hellmuth, Obata and Kassabaum (HOK).
The facility is slated to accommodate 1.5 million airline passengers annually in its first-phase configuration and ultimately 3.28 million at the completion of phase two. An HOK spokesman confirmed to AIN that a general aviation facility was included in the airport plans, with Japan Air System as a contracted tenant to deliver business aviation services.
The reclaimed island is to be positioned a few miles offshore and about 10 miles from downtown Kitakyushu. Total surface area of the 2.5- by half-mile island is about 1.4 square miles. HOK has additional experience planning airports on reclaimed land, having completed design work on the Central Japan International Airport, currently under construction off the coast of Tokoname, near Nagoya.