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Narita Airport Runway B Extended to 2,500 Meters - Annual Arrival & Departure Slots to Increase by 20,000

Narita Airport Runway B Extended to 2,500 Meters - Annual Arrival & Departure Slots to Increase by 20,000

Narita Airport bird's-eye view.

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Runway B at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture opened on October 22 after being extended to a length of 2,500 meters. The “first aircraft” to depart was a large wide-body aircraft for a charter flight that took off for Hakodate Airport in the early morning.

The runway first opened as a short, “temporary” 2,180-meter runway planned for the FIFA World Cup held jointly by Japan and South Korea. Although the types of aircraft able to use the runway were limited, it did increase the number of arrival and departure slots for the airport and was used to open new flight routes and increase the number of flights. Afterwards, a prompt extension to 2,500 meters in response to increased aviation demand was desired, and the extended runway was opened roughly five months ahead of the initial schedule.

With the extension to 2,500 meters, the limits on aircraft have been done away with.. Large aircraft like the Boeing 747 are now able to use the runway, and service on long-distance routes to the west coast of North America, Moscow and elsewhere have become possible. In addition, starting on March 28, 2010, Narita's arrival and departure slots will increase by 20,000 per year, the first direct flights to the Middle East and other regions will begin service, and many more flights will fly on existing routes.

Large aircraft for commercial flights began landing and taking off from Runway B on October 25 according to the 09/10 Winter Schedule. An airport spokesperson speaking on the runway's extension to 2,500 meters commented, “In combination with 4,000-meter Runway A, Narita International Airport will, in name and reality, fulfill its role as a key international airport by possessing these two main runways.”

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