Sendai Airport resumes helicopter operations, JAL and ANA add flights to Northeast Japan: Update 3

Sendai Airport resumed helicopter services at 7am on 15-Mar-2011 following a round-the-clock operation to clear away earth, sand and debris from the airfield after Friday’s tsunami. According to a Nikkei report, only rescue helicopters of the Japanese Defence Force, Maritime Safety Agency and police can use the airport on a 24-hour basis.

More flights to crisis-ridden Northeast

Local airlines are adding flights to destinations in Northeast Japan to assist with the relief, recovery and repatriation efforts.

Japan Airlines (JAL) operated 30 additional flights on 14-Mar-2011 and will operate 26 extra return flights to airports in northeast Japan on 15-March-2011:

  • Sapporo-Aomori: 4 x return;
  • Sapporo-Akita: 1 x return;
  • Haneda-Yamagata: 4 x return;
  • Osaka (Itami) Aomori: 2 x return;
  • Osaka (Itami) Yamagata: 1 x return;
  • Osaka (Itami) Akita: 1 x return.

JAL is also using larger aircraft for scheduled services from Tokyo Haneda to Aomori and Akita.

All Nippon Airways (ANA) meanwhile is offering seven extra return flights on the following routes:

  • Sapporo-Fukushima: 1 x return;
  • Nagoya-Fukushima: 2 x return;
  • Osaka (Itami)-Fukushima: 2 x return;
  • Haneda-Fukushima: 2 x return.

Air Do is operating two additional return services on the Sapporo-Fukuoka route on 15-Mar-2011.

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Operational status of airports in Tohoku region

Odate-Noshiro Airport
(Normal operation hours 08:00-19:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
Remote air support facilities operations suspended.

Sendai Airport Closed from 15:06 March 11.
Opened for helicopter rescue and relief operations March 15 from 07:00 on 24 hr basis, Japanese military technical squad now on site.
Remains of about 200 wrecked vehicles and rubble of destroyed houses litter runway, taxiways and and apron being cleared.
Clear up started March 14. Buildings, facilities and infrastructure being checked for damage and repair assessment.

Misawa Airport
(Normal operation hours 08:00-20:00)
Scheduled flights are operated.
Due to power failure, gates are operated manually.

Hanamaki Airport
Unable to use passenger terminal building due to collapsed ceiling.
Planned resumption of terminal building operations is March 17.
In response to increase of rescue aircraft, 24-hour operation will be introduced.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-19:30)
Operation of scheduled flights is suspended.
But the airport will be accept extra flights of relief goods on a 24-hour basis.

Fukushima Airport
14-Mar-2011: 14 extra sections operated. 15-Mar-2011: 20 extra sections to be operated

24-hour operation introduced in response to increase of earthquake aid flights.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-20:00)
Scheduled flights are being operated. 20 extra sections were operated on March 13.
Glass windows in control tower were completely destroyed.

Ibaraki Airport
On March 14, Skymark and Spring Airlines resumed start flight operations, Asiana is to resume today (March 15)
Unable to use terminal building due to collapsed ceiling.
Resumed operation of terminal building from March 14.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-20:00)

Yamagata Airport
14-Mar-2011 - 20 extra sections operated.
15-Mar-2011 - 10 extra sections to be operated
As the request of Yamagata Prefectural government, 24-hour operations were started from March 12.
(Normal operation hours: 08:00-19:30)
Scheduled flights are operated. 4 extra sections were operated on March 13.
No damage.

Aomori Airport - 15-Mar-2011 - 10 extra sections to be operated
(Normal operation hours: 07:30-21:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Shonai Airport
(Normal operation hours: 07:00-22:00)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Akita Airport - 15-Mar-2011 - 4 extra sections to be operated
(Normal operation hours: 07:00-21:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Niigata Airport
(Normal operation hours: 07:30-20:30)
Scheduled flights are operated.
No damage.

Flights operation status Extra sections 
March 14: 44 flights, March 15: 30 flights (as of 18:00, March 14)

Operation status of scheduled flights at airports in Tohoku area as of 22:00, March 14:
Flights cancelled:
108* flights → Hanamaki 10, Sendai 86, Fukushima 10, Ibaraki 2.


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