« homework 2014-02-25 | トップページ | ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い »

2014年2月26日 (水)

羽田と成田空港 利便性高めて競争を勝ち抜け

The Yomiuri Shimbun February 25, 2014
Haneda, Narita must enhance availability to win intl competition as hub airport
羽田と成田空港 利便性高めて競争を勝ち抜け(2月25日付・読売社説)

To ride the jet stream of growing Asian air travel demand and help revitalize the national economy, Haneda and Narita airports must enhance their convenience.

The Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry will expand the annual number of slots for takeoff and landing at Haneda from 410,000 to 447,000 at the end of March. The comparative number of slots at Narita will be increased from 270,000 to 300,000 before the end of fiscal 2014.

As a result, international flights, including those to and from Haneda, are expected to increase, thereby further boosting the number of foreign visitors, which topped 10 million for the first time last year.

The number of airline passengers in Asia is likely to continue growing in the years to come as the Summer Olympics and Paralympics will be held in Tokyo in 2020. It is necessary for Haneda and Narita to become airports that can be more conveniently used by airlines and passengers.

Haneda and Narita currently lag behind their rival Asian airports, including Hong Kong, Changi in Singapore and Incheon in South Korea, in the number of international flight passengers.

As Incheon and other Asian rivals have improved transportation links to city centers in addition to expansion of airport facilities, their efforts to lure transit flights to and from Europe and the United States has proved successful. Competition has been heating up among Asian airports to become international hubs in Asia.

Reduce landing fees

Haneda and Narita must first of all lower their landing fees, which are higher than those of other major Asian airports.

If landing fees paid by airlines are reduced, the number of flights linking Asia with Europe and the United States is likely to rise. Narita has lowered the landing fees for specific aircraft, such as low-noise types. But a further cut will be needed.

There is room for improvement as about 50,000 slots are left unused out of the 270,000 slots set annually at Narita. The airport must be utilized to the fullest by increasing flights in nighttime and early morning slots that are sparsely used.

In cooperation with railway and bus companies, airports and airlines must work to enhance the convenience of ground transportation for passengers, including increasing the frequency of transport services to central Tokyo.

To reinforce Haneda Airport, the government is studying a plan to construct a new runaway. The plan is expected to lead to a drastic increase in the number of slots, but it will require massive investment to build the runway. The public expense must be minimized by measures such as obtaining funding from the private sector.

A matter left pending is how to ease the restrictions for flights over Tokyo. There is much airspace above Tokyo where civilian aircraft are not allowed to fly, thereby limiting available flight routes.

With progress in technology, aircraft noise has been lowered to a certain extent, but efforts must be made to reach agreements with municipal governments and residents around Haneda Airport.

If the availability of Haneda and Narita airports is enhanced, it will help spur the participation of fast-growing low-cost carriers in the airline market. This will lead to an increase in options for fares and routes, bringing great benefits to passengers.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Feb. 25, 2014)
(2014年2月25日01時24分  読売新聞)


« homework 2014-02-25 | トップページ | ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い »





« homework 2014-02-25 | トップページ | ウクライナ政変 安定回復へ欧露の責任は重い »