Japan’s Narita International Airport is to open its first executive aviation terminal next year. The announcement, which was made at NBAA 2011 in Las Vegas on October 10, is an endorsement of the efforts Narita and the Japan Business Aviation Association have put into developing private aviation in the country. The facility–slated to open in April 2012–will offer customs, immigration and quarantine and a passenger lounge, plus 18 parking stands.
Narita is the ninth busiest airport in the world in terms of international departures, with some 56.5 percent of all international flights in Japan departing from the field. It is about 37 miles away from Tokyo, or about 20 minutes by helicopter. Akiyoshi Watanabe, executive officer and vice president of Narita’s ground operations department, said that the airport has expanded its landing slots to 50 per day for business aviation operations and will look to increase this number in the future.
“Business aviation is coming back to Japan now after the problems earlier this year with the Tsunami,” said Kazuyuki Tamura, director of the Japan Business Aviation Association. He added that the Japan Civil Aviation Bureau is working on relaxing some of the stricter regulations that hinder the development of private aviation, such as ease of registration in Japan, which should encourage development of charter operations. At present there is an installed fleet of around 20 aircraft on the J register, including both turboprops and jets.