Haneda on track to start international flights in October

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Tokyo's Haneda airport, which will begin international scheduled flights in October, is on track in its preparations to become the Japanese capital's second major airport.

A fourth runway will open at Haneda in October, and preparations are proceeding smoothly, says an official in Japan's Civil Aviation Bureau.

Agreements have been signed with 12 countries for flights to Haneda, he adds.

These are South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan during daytime hours, and South Korea, Hong Kong, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, USA, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, France and the United Kingdom during the late night and early morning hours.

The new runway at Haneda will increase the number of daytime take-offs and landings to 410,000 a year from 300,000.

Of the 110,000 extra slots, Japan plans to allocate 60,000 slots this year. Half of these will be for short-haul routes within Asia during the day. The remaining 30,000 slots will be allocated to night-time long-haul flights to Europe and the USA, says the official.

Any remaining slots will be allocated gradually after October, he adds.

Haneda, which is closer to Tokyo's city centre than Tokyo Narita, currently has regular chartered flights to Seoul, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing.