Japan's Narita International airport is evaluating development of a business aviation terminal at its base around 60km (35 miles) from Tokyo, in an effort to attract the increasing volumes of business aircraft traffic flying to and within Asia Pacific.
The move comes less than six months after the capital's downtown airport Haneda lifted its daytime ban on business jet access and is seen by the industry as a softening of the country's hard-line approach towards business aircraft.
The Japan Business Aviation Association and the global business aviation community have been battling for many years to raise the profile of business aviation in Japan, where the fleet totals fewer than 60 aircraft, including turboprops and government agency-owned types. "Though Japan has one of the world's largest economies, the use of business aircraft by companies and individuals for their own business activities lags far behind that in other countries," says the 15-year-old trade body, which has a growing membership of around 60.
Narita says it plans to site the terminal at the first level of the airport's south operations centre, which will be vacated by Japan Airlines as part of its financial restructuring.