New Passageways to Connect Narita Terminal 2 & Satellite - Decommissioning of "Yellow Shuttles"

New Passageways to Connect Narita Terminal 2 & Satellite - Decommissioning of

A airport view from the new passageway at Narita's Terminal 2.

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Terminal 2 at Narita International Airport in Narita, Chiba Prefecture, outside Tokyo, will open new passageways connecting the terminal's main building with the satellite on September 27.

The passageways will help travelers using the satellite boarding gates move to and from the main building. They run along each side of the "yellow shuttles" that currently ferry people back and forth between the buildings. One passageway is for departing passengers and the other for arrivals. Each measures about 6.5 meters wide and 220 meters long and is equipped with a moving sidewalk. The airport adopted an open design that minimizes pillars and window frames, thus allowing people passing through an up-close look at parked aircraft and the rest of the scenery outside.

The yellow shuttles will be decommissioned when the new passageways open. The shuttles, which have been the only way for travelers to access the satellite since the building opened in 1992, are part of an unmanned, remote controlled transit system. The carriages use compressed air to float above the tracks. An airport spokesperson said it was "the latest technology at the time and Narita was the first airport to implement it." Around 20,000 passengers ride the shuttles every day, but there have long been complaints about wait times at the boarding areas. The new walkways are meant to help cope with greater passenger volume as the airport expands capacity. Narita Airport is planning to rent out the space now occupied by the shuttle tracks to new tenants.

The new passageways will open at 6:00 a.m. on September 27.