Representatives from Japan’s government and Narita Airport are here (Booth No. 3831) to describe recent initiatives to promote business aviation in their country. Japan, with the world’s third largest economy (recently surpassed by China), is home to 68 of the world’s Fortune 500 companies, 52 of which are based in the greater Tokyo area. Yet the country until recently has not embraced corporate aviation.
The number of business aircraft registered in Japan is a minute percentage of those in the U.S., and the infrastructure to support them is on a diminished scale as well, but the situation is improving. According to Akira Takano of Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, the Tokyo metropolitan area receives more than 35 percent of the country’s business aviation traffic, split between Haneda and Narita International Airports, and those two airports have seen recent upgrades with regard to business aviation.
At Narita, all former restrictions on operations by aircraft of less than 5.7 tons have been abolished and applications for landing slots, which formerly required application by letter, can now be requested online. The airport has increased the maximum parking period for business aircraft from 7 to 30 days and has designated 18 parking stands for corporate aircraft use. Most importantly, this past April saw the opening of Premiere Gate, the Tokyo area’s first dedicated business aviation terminal. Premiere Gate offers private aviation passengers curbside dropoff, VIP lounges and onsite customs, immigration and quarantine (CIQ) services.
Haneda, which has allowed daylight international business aviation flights since 2010, has doubled the aircraft parking period to 10 from five days and changed its takeoff and landing slot request deadline from a week’s advance notice to the day of takeoff or landing. At both airports, which suffer from congestion, plans call for an increase in the number of arrival or departure slots from about 640,000 a year to 747,000 by 2014 as an open skies policy in the Tokyo metropolitan area will be implemented.
In the Nagoya area, which sees slightly less traffic, Nagoya Airport is home to Japan’s first business aviation terminal, which has its own CIQ facility. Nearby Chubu International Airport offers a private aviation terminal as well as a business aircraft hangar with maintenance support.