“Runway Island” Appearing in Sea off Narita Airport - Construction of New Runway Proceeding Well

“Runway Island” Appearing in Sea off Narita Airport - Construction of New Runway Proceeding Well

Construction of Haneda's 4th D-runway in progress.

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Construction on Narita Airport’s fourth runway (Runway D, 2,500 meters long, 60 meters wide) is proceeding well towards its opening in October 2010.

The new runway is part of the airport’s expansion project managed by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism’s Tokyo Airport Development Office. It will be located on the sea roughly 620 meters from the present airport, and the one-third of the island near the mouth of the Tama River is being built like a wharf to keep the impact of the current low. The “hybrid construction” combining a wharf section with another built using a land reclamation method will make for a rare airport on the water.

Along with the influence of rain, wind, temperature and other weather conditions, the construction on the water is facing hindrances such as the use of giant cranes so as not to interfere with aircraft landing and taking off from Runway A. Observational visits have been made by people in the construction industry to view the technology in use as construction moves efficiently along at a 24-7, year-round pace under difficult conditions.

Most of the embankments for the reclaimed section are now visible, and work will move on to the inner section. As of March 9, mounting of 119 of the 198 jackets (60%) has been completed for the wharf section. Placement of the foundation for the runway and taxiway is proceeding, and one can pretty much see the shape of the runway on the sea. Seventy percent of the jackets have also been mounted for the section connecting the present airport with the runway island.

The new runway will increase the airport’s annual landing and takeoff capacity from the current 296,000 to 407,000, raising the hourly rate from 810 to 1,114 and expanding the airport’s functionality as it continues to internationalize.