Japan's business aviation community is asking the government for access to one of three small airports around Tokyo, the country's capital, writes Siva Govindasamy.

Narita and Haneda airports serve most of the commercial air traffic into Tokyo. But the Japan Business Aviation Association wants to convert either Yokota, Kisarazu or Hyakuri airports, all an hour's drive from Tokyo, into a business aviation centre.

"The problem is unfair competition between business jets and scheduled airlines," says the association's chairman Yoichi Kubota. Business aircraft have 21 slots a week at Narita, while they can use Haneda only from 23:00-05:59 and must apply for a landing slot seven days before arrival. Neither airport has fixed-base operations, so business aircraft passengers and crew are bussed to the main terminals.

Japan is one of the most restrictive countries for corporate jets despite being the world's second largest economy. It had fewer than 63 registered private aircraft in mid-2006, compared with over 15,500 in the USA.

Source: Flight International