Japan’s minister for administrative reform and deregulation has called for Tokyo’s Narita and Haneda airports to be privatized and merged and managed by a single operating company, arguing that the facilities would be run more efficiently in the private sector. The minister said he expects a privatization plan for the country’s main gateways to be approved by year-end.
Honolulu International Airport
Delegates from Nagoya Airport are here at the NBAA Convention to promote the airport as Japan’s business aviation gateway. The field has seen a 32-percent increase in business aviation traffic, climbing from 90 movements in 2005 to 119 last year. This might not seem like much, but Japan has not generally been a hospitable environment for business aircraft operators since it holds pilots to airline-qualification requirements to fly there.
After many months of negotiations with FAA and Japanese aviation officials, Van Nuys, Calif.-based charter firm The Air Group has succeeded in its long-time quest to base aircraft (initially two Gulfstream Vs) at Haneda Airport in Tokyo.
A Canadair Regional Jet made history on February 17 when it landed at Nagoya Airport on the outskirts of Tokyo. The flight marked a first in Japan–a flight to an airport dedicated to business and commuter aircraft. Just hours before the CRJ’s historic landing, international airline passenger operations finished moving to the new Central Japan International Airport.
Japan’s Aichi Prefecture recently completed construction of the Central Japan Airport (RJGG) to accommodate airline demand for slots that was straining Nagoya Airport beyond capacity. While the new airport, more commonly called Centrair, is big news, it’s what the government did with the old Nagoya Airport that is even more significant.
Tokyo’s Nagoya Airport remained on schedule to become Japan’s first hub facility dedicated to business and commuter aircraft. The airport is expected to serve its last major airline flight at approximately 10 p.m. on February 16. All airliners will be ferried that night to the new Central Japan International Airport. The Aichi local government will take over operation of Nagoya at midnight.
Honolulu-based de Havilland Dash 8 operator Island Air suffered the first serious casualty of Mesa Air Group’s incursion into Hawaii last month when CEO Rob Mauraucher announced he planned to furlough or lay off 65 full-time employees, remove two aircraft from service and eliminate five of the regional airline’s 17 routes.
Two factors have brightened business prospects for Japanese executive charter operator Global Wings: joining Bombardier’s Skyjet International fixed-rate charter program and getting a Chinese operating partner. The Tokyo-based firm took delivery of its first aircraft, a Bombardier Learjet 45XR, in January. The aircraft is used largely for flights within China, using the capital Beijing as a base.
Presenting an update of Japanese business aviation initiatives, Masaki Nakatani, associate secretary general of the Japan Business Aviation Association (JBAA), said, “There has been a slight increase in the number of business aircraft landing in Japan between 2000 and last year (up to 15,113 from 12,782) but it is still not a common phenomenon.” He went on to explain that there are several reasons for the historic lack of business aviation in
If Northwest Airlines gets its way, regional affiliate Pinnacle Airlines will become one of the first competitors to Southwest and American Airlines at Dallas Love Field. But in an ironic twist, interest in flying from Love on the part of Northwest and JetBlue Airlines could become a barrier to repeal of the law that limits most commercial flights from the airport to a nine-state perimeter.
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