Japan's MLIT stated (09-Sep-2011) it would commence aviation talks for an open skies agreement with Canada in Vancouver on 13/14-Sep-2011. With the exception of the US, this will be the first open skies negotiations with a country outside east Asia and the ASEAN group, with which MLIT has almost completed conclusion for agreements.
Japan to commence open skies talks with Canada
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Okinawa Naha Airport is poised for further rapid international growth as its network diversifies
Okinawa Naha Airport expects further rapid international growth as it begins to tap into the Southeast Asian market. Okinawa has seen a surge in international traffic, driven by new flights within North Asia, and is optimistic a new charter route to Singapore (operated by Jetstar Asia and SilkAir) will be upgraded to become its first scheduled service to Southeast Asia.
International passenger traffic at Okinawa Naha Airport has nearly tripled since 2011. A new international terminal which opened in Feb-2014 is already approaching capacity but plans are in the works for expansion.
For now the growth is being driven by inbound visitor traffic as Okinawa emerges as a popular tourist attraction. But Okinawa also has a potential role as a LCC transit airport, particularly after a second runway opens and further terminal expansion is pursued. Peach Aviation envisioned an Okinawa hub for Southeast Asian flights but requires a new low-cost terminal.
Kansai and Osaka Itami lead Japan's ambitious airport privatisation programme - with 2020 the target
When the privatisation of airports became both popular and frequent in the 1990s Japan was noticeable for its absence, being a country where the concept of public service financing of public projects was well established and politics was often an important component. One result has been the construction of over 90 loss-making airports.
Typically, the expansion of an airport’s terminal or the building of a new one, or the extension of a runway, would be financed by central government and local authorities with relatively small private sector representation in the form of loans from banks and important local companies. The notion of private sector investment backed up by private sector management for private sector gain was not generally welcomed.
But there is change in the air.