Narita operator to soon apply to gov't for runway extension, addition

The operator of Narita airport plans to soon move forward with its plan to extend one runway and build a third by submitting an application to the transport ministry, sources familiar with the move said Saturday.
After receiving the application for the work at the airport near Tokyo, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism is expected to hold a public hearing on the matter as early as December, the sources said.
Narita International Airport Corp, the operator, is likely to file the application by Nov 9.
The measures to increase the capacity of one of the nation's largest international airports were agreed between the ministry, local governments and the operator in 2018.
The changes are part of efforts to increase the annual number of takeoff and landing slots at the airport from the current 300,000 to 500,000.
The country's aviation law requires operators to win approval from the central government if major changes at airport facilities are planned.
Under the new plan, the length of a 2,500-meter runway will be extended to 3,500 meters and the third runway, which will be 3,500 meters long, will be built in the 2020s.
New operating hours will eventually see flights arrive and depart from 5 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. on all three runways, an extension from the current 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. hours on the two existing runways.
In the winter schedule that began Oct 27, Narita airport pushed back the closing hour of its 4,000-meter runway by one hour to midnight.

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