A dedicated business aviation terminal will open at Tokyo’s Narita International Airport this Saturday, according to airport officials here at ABACE 2012. Called Premier Gate, the new facility is close to Narita’s Terminal 2 and features co-located customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) facilities and a private lounge for departing and arriving passengers.
Premier Gate represents just one step in a detailed plan by Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau (CAB) to promote business aviation in Japan, both internally and by visitors, explained Yukiyoshi Noguchi of the CAB’s aviation strategy division, at an ABACE press conference on Tuesday.
That strategy includes addressing issues that the CAB identified as inhibiting business aviation in Japan, including the lack of takeoff and landing slots, no exclusive passenger facilities, few parking spots, complicated CIQ procedures and lack of service and support.
In addition to Premier Gate, Narita officials have increased the number of available slots and parking spots for business aircraft. And there are plans to bring concierge services to Premier Gate as well, said Shinichiro Motomiya, senior manager of Narita’s strategies and planning department. These services include duty-free sales, currency exchange and catering.
Although Narita Airport is about 60 kilometers from central Tokyo, business aircraft travelers can reach it quickly by via several forms of transportation, Noguchi said. Helicopters can make the trip in 20 minutes, while the Keisei Skyliner high-speed train takes 35 minutes, the Narita Express train takes 53 minutes and an automobile takes about 50 minutes.
All Clear for Nagoya
Separately, officials from Aichi Prefecture (Booth H412) reported that travelers to Japan’s major airports need not worry about radiation from the destruction of the Fukushima nuclear powerplant following the Great East Japan Earthquake. They are here at the ABACE show to highlight Nagoya Airport’s advantages, easy access to major cities in Japan and below-average levels of atmospheric radiation.
As for the radiation levels in Japan, Aichi Prefecture officials pointed out that average annual atmospheric radiation levels in Tokyo, Nagoya, Kyoto and Osaka are all well below the world average level. The Nagoya level is about one quarter the level found in the U.S.
“At present, Aichi-Nagoya, Tokyo, Osaka and other Japanese metropolises are continuing economic activities as before the disasters, and radiation is absolutely not a concern,” said the Aichi Prefecture officials.