8 Airports Allow Individual & Corporate Flights for Transporting Disaster Relief Supplies

8 Airports Allow Individual & Corporate Flights for Transporting Disaster Relief Supplies

Iwate Hanamaki Airport Terminal.

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Eight airports and heliports in the Tohoku region and Niigata Prefecture are permitting the use of their facilities by individuals and corporations in addition to government agencies on certain conditions in order to transport relief supplies to areas stricken by the Tohoku Pacific Earthquake.

The airports are:

Iwate Hanamaki Airport (Hanamaki, Iwate Prefecture)

Fukushima Airport (Ishikawa County, Fukushima Prefecture)

Shonai Airport (Sakata, Yamagata Prefecture)

Yonezawa Heliport (Yonezawa, Yamagata Prefecture)

Akita Airport (Akita, Akita Prefecture)

Odate Noshiro Airport (Kita Akita, Akita Prefecture)

Aomori Airport (Aomori, Aomori Prefecture)

Niigata Airport (Niigata, Niigata Prefecture)

Other than scheduled and non-scheduled commercial flights, these airports normally only accept flights for disaster relief operations by government agencies, but they are making exceptions for air-lifted relief supplies by individuals, businesses and corporations, arranging landing and take-off times, aircraft and loading/unloading methods so as not to disrupt government flights. Some of the airports are unable to refuel aircraft or provide cargo storage.

However, as of the time this article was written, individuals and corporations may not use Yamagata Airport (Yamagata, Yamagata Prefecture) or the Miyagi Prefectural Capitol Heliport (Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture), both of which have become bases for scheduled and non-scheduled civilian flights as well as the Self-Defense Forces and U.S. military's airlift operations. Sendai Fire Department Heliport (Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture) and Sendai Airport (Natori, Miyagi Prefecture) are also unavailable since they are both closed.

Policies set by each prefecture and its disaster response headquarters determine the availability and conditions of using airports for non-government flights, which may change according to how the recovery in the disaster area progresses.