Construction of a long-planned fourth runway at Tokyo's Haneda airport is due to begin next year for completion in 2009, allowing for more international services from the busy facility.

Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has awarded a ¥598.5 billion ($5.5 billion) construction contract for the fourth runway, which will be known as Runway D, to a consortium of 15 companies led by Kajima Corp.

Haneda is easily Asia's busiest airport, although it handles only domestic traffic apart from a small number of international shuttle flights to Seoul's secondary Gimpo airport as well as some late-night international charter flights. The 2,500m (8,200ft)-long runway is expected to allow for an increase in take-off and landing slots to 407,000 a year from 285,000.

Source: Airline Business