Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport Opening Dec. 13 - 4 Daily Roundtrip Flights to Haneda on ANA

Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport Opening Dec. 13 - 4 Daily Roundtrip Flights to Haneda on ANA

Completion image of Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport.

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Iwakuni Air Station, where United States Marine Corps and other American military personnel are posted in Iwakuni, Yamaguchi Prefecture, decided to open a fully civilian airport on December 13, which is to be called Iwakuni Kintaikyo Airport. All Nippon Airways Co., Ltd. (ANA) will operate four daily roundtrip flights serving the airport.

The new airport will be born out of an arrangement to use the base as a joint military-civilian facility. Until now, the opening day had been set as "sometime in FY2012," but the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT), at the urging of the Yamaguchi Prefecture government and other local voices, decided to officially set the "target date for commencing dual use." Yuichiro Hata, who heads the ministry, personally conveyed the news to the Governor of Yamaguchi and the Mayor of Iwakuni.

On that same day, ANA decided to operate a new domestic route connecting Iwakuni Kintaikyo with Haneda Airport. While the airline had already publicized plans to do so, it officially announced that it will begin service comprising four daily roundtrip flights from the day of the airport's opening. This will be the first time in 48 years that ANA has flown the route, which is expected to benefit from the business sector in eastern Yamaguchi Prefecture and western Hiroshima Prefecture, as well as from tourist travel to the famed Kintaikyo wooden arched bridge in Iwakuni, to Miyajima and other local landmarks. ANA will gradually release flight schedules and other further details.

Construction and installation work is still ongoing at the airport's passenger terminal, and preparations are underway to beat the initially forecast completion date of January 1, 2013.