Japan to Expand International Terminal at Haneda Airport

Japan plans to expand the international terminal at Tokyo’s Haneda Airport, the nation’s busiest, to accommodate surging travel demand in Asia.

The bigger terminal is set to open in the fiscal year ending in March 2014, Japan’s transport ministry said in a statement today.

Japan is adding capacity to the capital’s airports after infrastructure spending by China’s government helped Beijing overtake Haneda as Asia’s busiest airport. Japan added a fourth runway at Haneda, opened a $1.3 billion international terminal and started round-the-clock service last year. It also expanded capacity at Narita, the nation’s biggest international hub.

“Airports around the world are getting bigger, and 24-hour operations are becoming standard,” Akihiro Ohata, the transport minister, told reporters in Tokyo. “Haneda’s expansion isn’t over yet.”

The international terminal project will boost international passenger capacity to as many as 19.5 million a year from 14 million now, Maki Hattori, a director at Japan’s Civil Aviation Bureau, said today.

Bidding for the terminal work will open early next year and probably will begin later next year, he said. The number of fixed plane parking spots will increase to 18 at the terminal from 10 now, Hattori said.

The number of passengers traveling by air in Asia expanded 12.3 percent last year, almost double the global gain of 6.2 percent, to 841 million passengers, according to figures from Airports Council International.

Haneda is Japan’s busiest airport with 62 million passengers in the year ended March 2010, compared with 34 million last year at Narita.

To contact the reporters on this story: Chris Cooper in Tokyo at ccooper1@bloomberg.net; Kiyotaka Matsuda in Tokyo at kmatsuda@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Neil Denslow at ndenslow@bloomberg.net

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