Narita International Airport in Japan has announced plans to extend the operational hours of one of its runways for landings and take-offs to boost operational efficiency.
The Japan Times reported that runway hours will be extended to midnight on the main runway from October.
This will enable international airlines to operate from Narita International Airport when Tokyo is scheduled to host the Olympics and Paralympics in 2020.
The proposal has been approved by the town of Yokoshibahikari and the city of Sammu in Chiba Prefecture, along with all nine neighbouring municipalities.
Yokoshibahikari mayor Haruhiko Sato told the publication: “It is inevitable. I will try to explain things to residents in the town.”
The plan to extend the operating hours was initially opposed by neighbouring towns and cities, but an agreement was made following assurances from the airport operator over noise reduction measures.
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A formal agreement will soon be signed by the nine municipalities, the infrastructure ministry and Narita International Airport on the extension of hours for the 4,000m runway.
Narita International Airport plans to construct a third runway in the 2020s.
Data from 2016 suggests Narita managed almost 50% of the country’s international passenger traffic and 60% of its international air cargo traffic.
It acts as the main global hub of Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Nippon Cargo Airlines, and as a hub for low-cost carriers, including Jetstar Japan, Peach and Vanilla Air.