Japan’s Haneda Airport will allocate half of nearly 50 arrival and departure slots to Japanese and US airlines when the country hosts the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics Games in 2020.
Current slots at the airport total 60,000 per annum, which will increase to 99,000 by next year.
Japanese transport minister Keiichi Ishii said at a press conference that Japanese and US airlines will be allocated 12 daily slots each out of a total of 50.
The remaining slots will be given to other passenger carriers considering the government’s plans to attract approximately 40 million tourists to Japan in 2020.
Ishii was quoted by The Japan Times as saying: “We will use (the new slots) to expand the number of visitors to Japan and enhance Japan’s international competitiveness.”
Japan is currently working to add new flight paths over central Tokyo to set up new arrival and departure slots at the airport. However, local people have expressed their concerns about increased noise and objects falling from aircraft.
The transport ministry is trying to alleviate these fears through briefing sessions where residents are notified about the expected impact of the planned increase in flights.
“We will make use of formal procedures and decide (on the plan) after gaining local consent,” Ishii told the publication.
Japan reached an agreement with the US in January to manage new routes for commercial flights in the airspace controlled by the US military, which has imposed flight restrictions that create air traffic congestion in Tokyo and surrounding areas.
The agreement means Japan will control new routes that go through US airspace.