Narita airport to have low-cost terminal by 2015

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Tokyo's Narita airport is to construct a new terminal for low-cost carriers, which the airport's operator expects to complete by the end of March 2015.

The building will supplement the two current terminals and detailed design, as well as other preparatory work, will begin during this fiscal year, said Narita Airport Authority.

It will be able to handle 7.5 million passengers once the first phase, which will cost Y20 billion ($245 million), is completed, says Narita international planning and policy office director Hideharu Miyamoto. The terminal will feature 10-15 parking stands and an "open concept" without airbridges, with the passengers walking to and from the aircraft.

"The actual construction will be carried out in phased steps, taking into consideration future demand fluctuation [and] competition between existing airline customers and low-cost carriers, as well as other factors during the course of developing [our] yearly business plans," says the operator.

Miyamoto says the airport will increase the available slots to 300,000 a year in 2014, from 250,000. All 50,000 additional slots will be for low-cost carriers that use the new terminal.

Dedicated low-cost carrier facilities at Terminal 2 for Jetstar Japan and AirAsia Japan, which are planning to operate out of Narita this summer, will be set up.

"Low-cost carriers do not need as many check-in counters as full service carriers, a lot of baggage services, or a lounge. So we want to help them by setting up separate facilities," says Miyamoto. South Korean low-cost carriers Eastar Jet and Air Busan also fly to Narita.