Tokyo gets second international airport

Most people who fly into Tokyo from overseas, fly into Narita Airport, which has been Tokyo’s official international airport since 1986.  One problem, with Narita is that it is a long way from central Tokyo, 57.5 kilometres (35.7 miles), and getting to and from Narita can be expensive.

Narita took over from Tokyo’s original airport, Haneda, which has been operating since 1931, and which was Japan’s principal airport until Narita began operations.

Although Narita has been Japan’s best known airport, Haneda has always remained operating and, in fact, is Asia’s second busiest airport, handling domestic traffic and some international flights between a few other Asian destinations such as Seoul, Shanghai and Hong Kong.  In 2009 Haneda handled over 62 million passengers.

With the completion of a fourth runway, and a new international terminal, Haneda is now Tokyo’s second international airport.  It will handle several international airlines such as All Nippon, Singapore Airlines, Delta and American Airlines, taking pressure off Narita.

Haneda Airport is significantly closer to Tokyo than is Narita, being only 14 kilometres (8.7 miles) south of central Tokyo.  It will handle about 60,000 extra international flights per year, and its portfolio of participating international airlines will continue to expand, especially among many of the region’s budget carriers.

3 comments to Tokyo gets second international airport

  • Wayne Johnson

    This alleviates one big negative with Narita. If one is flying to Korea, and one lives in Yokohama, as this one does – then travelling to Narita takes over two hours door to terminal. The flight to Korea takes about half that time. Also Haneda allows night flights (out across Tokyo Bay) whereas Narita allows flights up until 10 p.m., a consideration for the local farmers and their chickens (it’s that far out of town). Haneda used to be the hub and now the infrastructure allows for a return to international flights from Haneda.

    An aside, just before the Tokyo Olympics in 1964, Haneda Airport was modernised and has some form of cooling installed. This proved to be a boon for the rice farmers in the area (and there are still some there). One (not this one) would see middle aged, and elderly men in their Japanese-stylle undies being shunted out of the terminal every evening.

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