Narita International Airport

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Narita International Airport
Narita Kokusai Kūkō
Narita International Airport Logo.svg
Airport typePublic
OperatorNarita International Airport Corporation (NAA)
LocationNarita, Chiba, Japan
Hub for
Elevation AMSL135 ft / 41 m
Coordinates35°45′55″N 140°23′08″E / 35.76528°N 140.38556°E / 35.76528; 140.38556Coordinates: 35°45′55″N 140°23′08″E / 35.76528°N 140.38556°E / 35.76528; 140.38556
NRT is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Statistics (2007/2009)
Passengers (2009)32,135,191
Total cargo (metric tonnes) (2008)2,099,349
Sources: Japanese AIP at AIS Japan[2]
Passengers and cargo from ACI[3][4]
:A.^ Extended from 2,180 m (7,152 ft) in fall 2009.
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Narita International Airport
Narita Kokusai Kūkō
Narita International Airport Logo.svg
Airport typePublic
OperatorNarita International Airport Corporation (NAA)
LocationNarita, Chiba, Japan
Hub for
Elevation AMSL135 ft / 41 m
Coordinates35°45′55″N 140°23′08″E / 35.76528°N 140.38556°E / 35.76528; 140.38556Coordinates: 35°45′55″N 140°23′08″E / 35.76528°N 140.38556°E / 35.76528; 140.38556
NRT is located in Japan
Location in Japan
Statistics (2007/2009)
Passengers (2009)32,135,191
Total cargo (metric tonnes) (2008)2,099,349
Sources: Japanese AIP at AIS Japan[2]
Passengers and cargo from ACI[3][4]
:A.^ Extended from 2,180 m (7,152 ft) in fall 2009.

Narita International Airport (成田国際空港 Narita Kokusai Kūkō?) (IATA: NRTICAO: RJAA) is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located 57.5 km (35.7 mi) east of Tokyo Station and 7 km (4.3 mi) east-southeast of Narita Station[2] in the city of Narita, and the adjacent town of Shibayama.

Narita handles the majority of international passenger traffic to and from Japan, and is also a major connecting point for air traffic between Asia and the Americas. The airport handled 35,478,146 passengers in 2007.[3] It is the second-busiest passenger airport in Japan,[3] busiest air freight hub in Japan,[4] and ninth-busiest air freight hub in the world.[4] It serves as the main international hub of Japan's flag carrier Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways, Nippon Cargo Airlines, and also low-cost carriers Jetstar Japan and AirAsia Japan. It also serves as an Asian hub for Delta Air Lines and United Airlines. Under Japanese law, it is classified as a first class airport.

The airport was known as New Tokyo International Airport (新東京国際空港 Shin-Tōkyō Kokusai Kūkō) until 2004, but was commonly called "Tokyo Narita" even before it was officially renamed to differentiate it from Tokyo International Airport, commonly called "Tokyo Haneda."




Protest outside Narita City Hall in 1968.
Steel tower built by protesters adjacent to Narita Airport.
The guard wall and towers surrounding Narita Airport can be clearly seen from aircraft landing at the airport.

By the early 1960s, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) was quickly becoming overcrowded. Its location on Tokyo Bay made further expansion difficult, as a large amount of new land would have to be created in order to build more runways and terminals. While this strategy was used for later airport projects in Japan (such as Kansai International Airport), the government believed that landfill in the bay would be too costly and difficult, and would hinder the development of the Port of Tokyo. Haneda also suffered from airspace restrictions due to its central location and proximity to US airbases, so the government feared that further expansion of Haneda would lead to overcrowding in the sky.[citation needed]

In 1962, the Japanese government began investigating possible alternatives to Haneda, and proposed a "New Tokyo International Airport" to take over Haneda's international flights. The rapid postwar growth of Tokyo caused a shortage of available flat land in the Kantō region, so the only viable location for the airport was in rural Chiba Prefecture. Initially, surveyors proposed placing the airport in the village of Tomisato; however, the site was moved 5 km northeast to the villages of Sanrizuka and Shibayama, where the Imperial Household had a large farming estate. This development plan was made public in 1966.[citation needed]

At the time, the socialist movement still possessed considerable strength in Japan, evidenced by the large-scale student riots in Tokyo in 1960.[5] Many in the "new left" such as Chukaku-ha opposed the construction of Narita Airport, reasoning that the real purpose for the new airport was to promote capitalism and to provide additional facilities for US military aircraft in the event of war with the Soviet Union. These individuals sought to ally with the more conservative local farmers who simply did not want to give up their land for the airport.[6]

Around 1966, a group of local residents combined with student activists and left-wing political parties formed a popular resistance group known as the Sanrizuka-Shibayama Union to Oppose the Airport (三里塚・芝山連合空港反対同盟 Sanrizuka-Shibayama Rengo Kūkō Hentai Dōmei?), which remained active until fracturing in 1983.[6] Similar strategies had already been employed during the postwar era to block the expansion of Tachikawa Air Base and other US military facilities in Japan.[6] In June and July 1966, the Union sent formal protests to the mayor of Narita, the governor and vice-governor of Chiba Prefecture and the prefectural office of the Liberal Democratic Party.[6] In November 1967, when the Transport Ministry began surveying the perimeter of the airport, Union members set up roadblocks. The Zengakuren radical student union then began sending students to Narita to help the local farmers.[6]

Eminent domain power had rarely been used in Japan up to that point. Traditionally, the Japanese government would offer to relocate homeowners in regions slated for expropriation, rather than condemn their property and pay compensation as provided by law. In the case of Narita Airport, this type of cooperative expropriation did not occur: some residents went as far as using terror by threatening to burn down new homes of anyone who would voluntarily move out.[citation needed]

Under the 1966 plan, the airport would have been completed in 1971, but due to the ongoing resettlement disputes, not all of the land for the airport was available by then. Finally, in 1971, the Japanese government began forcibly expropriating land. 291 protesters were arrested and more than 1,000 police, villagers and student militants were injured in a series of riots, notably on 16 September 1971 when three policemen were killed in a riot involving thousands. Some protesters chained themselves to their homes and refused to leave.[citation needed]

Takenaka Corporation constructed the first terminal building, which was completed in 1972. The first runway took several more years due to constant fights with the Union and sympathizers, who occupied several pieces of land necessary to complete the runway and temporarily built large towers in the runway's path.[5] The runway was completed and the airport scheduled to open on March 30, 1978, but this plan was disrupted when, on March 26, 1978, a group armed with Molotov cocktails drove into the airport in a burning car, broke into the control tower and destroyed much of its equipment, causing approx. $500,000 in damages and delaying the opening by another two months, to May 20, 1978.[7]

Although the airport did open, it opened under a high level of security. The airfield was surrounded by opaque metal fencing and overlooked by guard towers staffed with riot police. 14,000 security police were present at the airport's opening and were met by 6,000 protesters; a Japanese newscaster remarked at the time that "Narita resembles nothing so much as Saigon Airport during the Vietnam War."[8] Protestors attacked police on the opening day with rocks and firebombs while police responded with water cannon; on the other side of Tokyo, a separate group of protestors claimed responsibility for cutting the power supply to an air traffic control facility at Tokorozawa, which shut down most air traffic in the Tokyo area for several hours.[7]

The Diet of Japan passed a special statute, the Emergency Measures Act Relating to the Preservation of Security at New Tokyo International Airport (新東京国際空港の安全確保に関する緊急措置法?), specifically banning the construction and use of buildings for violent and coercive purposes relating to the new airport.[9] The legislation, which is still enforced today, means departure passengers arriving at the airport are still subject to baggage searches and travel document checks before entering the main terminal. Even today, there are signs against the airport on some of the perimeter fences, which can be seen by aircraft passengers.[citation needed]

The conflicts at Narita were a major factor in the decision to build Kansai International Airport in Osaka offshore on reclaimed land, instead of again trying to expropriate land in heavily populated areas.[10]

Japan's international flag carrier, Japan Airlines moved its main international hub from Haneda to Narita, and Northwest and Pan American also moved their Asian regional hubs from Haneda to Narita. Pan American sold its Pacific Division, including its Narita hub, to United Airlines in February 1986.[11] Japanese domestic carrier All Nippon Airways began scheduled international flights from Narita to Guam in 1986.[12]

Expansion and increased capacity

Terminal 2 control tower and people mover

New Tokyo International Airport was originally envisioned to have five runways, but the initial protests in 1965 led to a down-scaling of the plan to three runways: two parallel northwest/southeast runways 4,000 m (13,123 ft)[1] in length and an intersecting northeast/southwest runway 3,200 m (10,499 ft) in length. Upon the airport's opening in 1978, only one of the parallel runways was completed (16R/34L, also known as "Runway A"); the other two runways were delayed to avoid aggravating the already tense situation surrounding the airport. The original plan also called for a high-speed rail line, the Narita Shinkansen, to connect the airport to central Tokyo, but this project was also cancelled with only some of the necessary land obtained.[6]

By 1986, the strengthening Japanese yen was causing a surge of foreign business and leisure travel from Japan, which made Narita's capacity shortage more apparent. However, eight families continued to own slightly less than 53 acres (21 ha) of land on the site which would need to be expropriated in order to complete the other two runways. Although the government could legally force a sale of the land, it elected not to do so in order "because of fears of more violence."[13] By 1992, Narita was handling 22 million passengers a year, despite only having a design capacity of 13 million.[14]

Terminal 2 and B runway

Plan of the airport

On November 26, 1986, the airport authority began work on Phase II, a new terminal and runway north of the airport's original main runway.[citation needed] To avoid the problems that plagued the first phase, the Minister of Transport promised in 1991 that the expansion would not involve expropriation.[citation needed] Residents in surrounding regions were compensated for the increased noise-pollution with home upgrades and soundproofing.[citation needed]

A second passenger terminal opened in December 1992 at a cost of $1.36 billion. The new terminal had approximately 1.5 times the space of the older terminal, but its anti-congestion benefits were delayed because of the need to close and renovate much of the older terminal. The airport's land situation also meant that the taxiway to the new terminal was one-way for much of its length, and that taxi times between the terminal and runway were up to 30 minutes.[14]

The B runway (16L/34R) opened on April 17, 2002, in time for the World Cup events held in Japan and Korea that year. However, its final length of 2,180 m (7,152 ft), much shorter than its original plan length of 2,500 m (8,202 ft), left it too short to accommodate Boeing 747s.[15] The runway was further impeded by a three-story concrete building in the path of its taxiway, which the Union had constructed in 1966, forcing the taxiway to bend inward toward the runway. This imposed restrictions on the number of aircraft that could use the runway, since it was impossible for an aircraft to safely pass through the curve in the taxiway while another aircraft was using the runway.[16]

The new runway opened up additional slots, particularly for carriers from other Asian countries, who were favored disproportionately over American and European incumbents. In particular, Taiwan flag carriers China Airlines and EVA Air were granted slots upon opening of the new runway and were able to move their Tokyo operations to Narita from Haneda Airport, where they had been operating since the opening of Narita in order to avoid frustrating Japanese relations with the People's Republic of China.[17]

Runway B's limitations were made particularly apparent following the 2009 crash of FedEx Express Flight 80, which shut down Runway A and forced some heavy aircraft to divert to other airports. The runway was extended to its full length of 2,500 metres (8,202 ft) on October 22, 2009,[18] allowing an additional 20,000 flights per year.[19][20]

In 2008, the Supreme Court of Japan ruled in favor of the airport authority regarding ownership of the Union-occupied land in the path of the taxiway, allowing the taxiway to be modified to provide enough room for safe passing by March 2011.[16] The building remained in place until August 2011, when authorities removed it under an order by the Chiba District Court which had been upheld by the Tokyo High Court in May. 500 police officers were dispatched to provide security for the operation while 30 airport opponents protested.[21]

Under the airport's master plan, the third "C runway" would be a 3,200 metres (10,499 ft) cross runway south of the passenger terminals. Although NAA controls most of the property needed for its construction, certain small portions remain blocked by small plots of land held by airport protestors, and portions near the South Wing of Terminal 1 are currently used for aircraft parking. Use of the runway would also require noise abatement negotiations with the municipalities to the northeast and southwest of the airport, including the city of Yachimata which would lie directly beneath the southbound flight path from the runway. Due to these issues, the construction of the C runway has been put on hold indefinitely.[22]

Beginning on 20 October 2011, the airport was approved to allow simultaneous landings and take-offs from the A and B runways. The approval allowed the airport to increase annual take offs from 220,000 to 235,000 and increase hourly departure capacity from 32 to 46. The parallel runways are 2.5 km apart.[23]

Low Cost Carrier Terminal

Narita is building a LCC Terminal for AirAsia and Jetstar at a cost of ¥20 billion[24] by March 2015.[25] It will be located north of Terminal 2, where are a cargo building currently sits.[24]

It will have a capacity of 50,000 passengers per year.[24]

It will not have boarding bridges to save cost, passengers will use boarding ramps instead.[25]

Transit upgrades

Railway routes between Tokyo and NRT. Narita Express of JR is in gray. New Skyliner route is in purple. The Keisei Main Line is in green.

Since its construction, Narita has been criticized for its distance from central Tokyo—an hour by the fastest train, and often longer by road due to traffic jams. Narita's distance is even more problematic for residents and businesses in west Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, both of which are much closer to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport).

Through the end of the 1980s, Narita Airport's train station was located fairly far from the terminal, and passengers faced either a long walk or a bus ride (at an additional charge and subject to random security screenings). Transport Minister Shintaro Ishihara, now governor of Tokyo, pressed airport train operators JR and Keisei Railway to connect their lines directly to the airport's terminals, and opened up the underground station that would have accommodated the Shinkansen for regular train service. Direct train service to Terminal 1 began on March 19, 1991, and the old Narita Airport Station was renamed Higashi-Narita Station.[citation needed]

The Narita Rapid Railway opened on July 17, 2010 and shaved 20 minutes off the travel time. The line's new Skyliner express trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h are scheduled between Tokyo's Nippori Station and Airport Terminal 2 Station in 36 minutes, which compares favourably with other major airports worldwide. A new expressway, the North Chiba Road, is also under construction along the Narita Rapid Railway corridor. Improvements such as the Wangan Expressway also shaved off travel time to Kanagawa Prefecture by bypassing Tokyo.

The Japanese government has also invested in several local infrastructure projects in order to address the demands of airport neighbors. The largest of these is the Shibayama Railway, a short railway connection between the Keisei Main Line and the area immediately east of Narita Airport. This line opened in 2002 with government and NAA support after extensive demands from Shibayama residents, and provides a direct rail link from Shibayama to Narita City, Chiba City and central Tokyo. Another such project is the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences in Shibayama Town, which draws tourists and student groups to the area.[26]


In 2003, a Narita International Airport Corporation Act (成田国際空港株式会社法?) was passed to provide for the privatization of the airport. As part of this change, on April 1, 2004, New Tokyo International Airport was officially renamed Narita International Airport, reflecting its popular designation since its opening. The airport was also moved from government control to the authority of a new Narita International Airport Corporation.[27]

Notable accidents and incidents

Current issues

An aerial view of the airport, showing the busy operations that take place on a daily basis


Complaints over slots and landing fees have plagued the busy airport. Because so many airlines want to use it, the Japanese aviation authorities have limited the number of flights each airline can operate from this airport, making the airport expensive for both airlines and their passengers. Narita's landing fees are more than double those of Incheon International Airport and Singapore Changi Airport. Narita's administration cites its construction debt load, standing at ¥666.2 billion in 2012, and ¥7 billion annual security costs to guard against terrorism from radicalized airport opponents, as the main reasons for the high landing fees. Also, Narita charges airlines for the cost of passenger security screening, which is paid by the government in most other countries.[39]

Although the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has given Narita a monopoly on international air service to the Tokyo region, that monopoly has been gradually weakening. Haneda has had limited international service for some time, beginning with flights to Taiwan and later replaced by flights to Gimpo Airport in Seoul, and Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai. Following the construction of Haneda's Runway D in 2009, the government aims to transfer other international services to Haneda in order to relieve Narita's congestion and expansion problems. The Ministry of Transport continues to investigate the possibility of building a new reliever airport on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay or off the Kujukuri coast of Chiba Prefecture.[40] Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has proposed redeveloping Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo as a civil airport.

Hyakuri Airfield (Ibaraki Airport), opened on March 11, 2010, may relieve traffic for domestic passengers destined to/from Ibaraki and Tochigi Prefectures, and potentially those in Gunma. Technically, the runway there is large enough for jumbo jets. Shizuoka Airport, opened June 2009, may take away Numazu-Fuji area passengers that would otherwise come to Narita.

LCC service

In October 2010, Narita announced plans to build a new terminal for low-cost carriers (LCCs) and to offer reduced landing fees for new airline service, in an attempt to maintain its competitiveness against Haneda Airport.

In July 2011, ANA and AirAsia announced that they would form a low-cost carrier subsidiary, AirAsia Japan, based at Narita. Later in 2011, JAL and Jetstar Asia announced a similar low-cost joint venture, Jetstar Japan, to be based at Narita.

Skymark Airlines opened a domestic base at Narita in November 2011, and by February 2012 was operating 70 departures per week from NRT.[41] Skymark cited the lower fees at NRT as a key reason for this move.[42]

Narita's restricted hours, congestion and landing fees have caused difficulties for LCCs operating at the airport. On Jetstar Japan's first day of operations in July 2012, a departing flight was delayed on the tarmac for one hour, forcing a cancellation. Less than two weeks later, a departing Jetstar Japan flight from Narita to New Chitose Airport was significantly delayed such that the return flight to Narita using the same aircraft could not arrive before the 11 PM curfew, forcing another cancellation. LCCs at Narita currently use the corner of Terminal 2 which is farthest from Runway A, often requiring a long taxi time. Unlike Kansai International Airport, Narita offers no reduced landing fees to LCCs.[43]


Narita Airport is the first Japanese airport to house millimeter wave scanners. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced in March 2010 that trials would be carried out at Narita from July 5 through September 10, 2010. Five types of machines are to be tested sequentially outside the Terminal 1 South Wing security checkpoint; the subjects are Japanese nationals who volunteer for trial screening, as well as airport security staff during hours when the checkpoint is closed.[44]

Terminals, airlines, and destinations

Narita Airport has two separate terminals with separate underground train stations. Connection between the terminals is by shuttle bus (buses are available both inside and outside the security area. Buses inside the security is only for connecting passengers) and trains; there is no pedestrian connection.


Terminal 1

Exterior of the Terminal 1 building with the Central Building and North Wing visible.

Terminal 1 uses a satellite terminal design. The landside of the terminal is divided into a North Wing (北ウイング kita-uingu?), Central Building (中央ビル chūō-biru?), and South Wing (南ウイング minami-uingu?). Two circular satellites, Satellites 1 (gates 11–18) and 2 (gates 21–24), are connected to the North Wing, Satellite 3 (gates 26–38) is a linear concourse connected to the Central Building, Check-in is processed on the fourth floor, and departures and immigration control are on the third floor. Arriving passengers clear immigration on the second floor, then claim their baggage and clear customs on the first floor. Most shops and restaurants are located on the fourth floor of the Central Building. The South Wing includes a duty free mall called "Narita Nakamise"[dead link], the largest airport duty-free brand boutique mall in Japan.

North Wing

The North Wing is dominated by SkyTeam carriers including Delta Air Lines which moved from Terminal 2 in 2007, shortly after a reciprocal move by Oneworld carriers American Airlines and Cathay Pacific.[45] Virgin Atlantic and Aircalin are the only non-SkyTeam carriers operating from the North Wing. Continental Airlines relocated to the South Wing on November 1, 2009 after joining Star Alliance.[46] British Airways moved its operations to Terminal 2 on 31 October 2010 in order to ease connections with Oneworld partner Japan Airlines.[47]

South Wing

The South Wing and Satellite 5 opened in June 2006 as a terminal for Star Alliance carriers. Today, all Star Alliance members use this wing. The following are non-Star Alliance members: EVA Air, MIAT, Uzbekistan Airways, Vladivostok, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. The South Wing has seven stories, and the first floor contains facilities for domestic flights by ANA.[48] It is the first airport terminal in Japan to offer curbside check-in service and baggage reconnecting facilities for passengers connecting from international to domestic flights.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 Departure lobby
Terminal 2 "Gobangai" arcade

Terminal 2 is divided into a main building (honkan) and satellite, both of which are designed around linear concourses. The two are connected by the Terminal 2 Shuttle System, which was designed by Japan Otis Elevator and was the first cable-driven people mover in Japan.

Check-in and departures and Immigration control for arriving passengers is on the second floor, and baggage claim and customs are on the first floor.

For domestic flights, three gates (65, 66, and 67) in the main building are connected to both the main departures concourse and to a separate domestic check-in facility. Passengers connecting between domestic and international flights must exit the gate area, walk to the other check-in area, and then check in for their connecting flight.

Japan Airlines is currently the main operator in T2; several Oneworld carriers which used to be in T1 moved their operations to T2 in early 2007 so as to ease connections to and from flights operated by oneworld partner Japan Airlines. China Airlines (SkyTeam carrier), China Eastern Airlines (SkyTeam carrier), and Emirates are the only non Oneworld carriers operating from Terminal 2. Vietnam Airlines moved its operations from T2 to Terminal 1 North on 30 October 2011 with all other SkyTeam members. Air New Zealand also moved its operations from T2 to Terminal 1 South on 25 March 2012 in order to ease connections with fellow Star Alliance partner All Nippon Airways and other Star Alliance members as well.[49] Garuda Indonesia moved its operations from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 North on 1 April 2012 with all other SkyTeam members as the airline prepares to join the alliance. China Southern Airlines relocated from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 North on 12 September 2012 with all other fellow SkyTeam members.[50]

Airlines and destinations

Terminal 2 Shuttle System used to transport passengers to satellite concourses in Terminal 2
A Japan Airlines Boeing 747-400 was painted with Airport's 30th anniversary
Northwest Airlines and Alitalia at Terminal 1 North Wing
Shuttle Bus
Air France with a Airbus A380 at Narita Airport, Tokyo
Two twin-engine airliners on parallel taxiways.
Japan Airlines Boeing 777 Star Jet and "Arc of the Sun" livery aircraft
AeroflotMoscow-Sheremetyevo1 North
operated by Vladivostok Air
Seasonal: Khabarovsk, Vladivostok[51]
Seasonal Charter: Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky[52]
1 South
Aeroméxico1Mexico City1 North
Air BusanBusan1 South
Air CanadaCalgary, Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver1 South
Air ChinaBeijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen, Wuhan1 South
Air FranceParis-Charles de Gaulle1 North
Air IndiaDelhi2
Air MacauMacau2
Air New ZealandAuckland
Seasonal: Christchurch
1 South
Air NiuginiPort Moresby2
Air Tahiti NuiPapeete2
AirAsia JapanFukuoka, Okinawa, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon [begins 28 October 2012][53]2
AircalinNouméa-La Tontouta1 North
AlitaliaMilan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino1 North
All Nippon AirwaysBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Chicago-O'Hare, Delhi [begins 28 October 2012],[54] Frankfurt, Hangzhou, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Munich, New York-JFK, Okinawa, Osaka-Itami, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Qingdao, San Francisco, San Jose (CA) [begins 11 January 2013],[55] Sapporo-Chitose, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Singapore, Washington-Dulles1 South
ANA operated by Air CentralNagoya-Centrair, Sendai1 South
ANA operated by Air JapanBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dalian, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan1 South
ANA operated by Air NipponChengdu, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Mumbai, Niigata, Osaka-Itami, Xiamen, Yangon [begins 15 October 2012][54]1 South
ANA operated by Ibex AirlinesHiroshima, Komatsu, Sendai1 South
American AirlinesChicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles2
Asiana AirlinesSeoul-Incheon1 South
Austrian Airlines
operated by Tyrolean Airways
Vienna1 South
British AirwaysLondon-Heathrow2
Cathay PacificHong Kong, Taipei-Taoyuan2
China AirlinesHonolulu, Kaohsiung, Taipei-Taoyuan2
China Eastern AirlinesBeijing-Capital, Nanjing, Qingdao [ends 1 October 2012] [resumes 27 October 2012][56], Shanghai-Pudong, Xi'an2
China Southern AirlinesChangchun, Dalian, Guangzhou, Harbin, Shenyang1 North
Delta Air LinesAtlanta, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Detroit, Guam, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Los Angeles, Manila, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, Portland (OR), Saipan, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan
Seasonal: Koror
1 North
Eastar JetSeoul-Incheon2
Edelweiss AirSeasonal: Zürich1 South
EgyptAirCairo1 South
Etihad AirwaysAbu Dhabi1 South
EVA AirTaipei-Taoyuan1 South
Eznis AirwaysUlan Bator1 South
Garuda IndonesiaDenpasar/Bali, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta1 North
Hong Kong AirlinesHong Kong2
Japan AirlinesBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Boston, Busan, Chicago-O'Hare, Dalian, Delhi, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guam, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Helsinki [begins 25 February 2013],[57] Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Jakarta-Soekarno-Hatta, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Moscow-Domodedovo, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Itami, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, San Diego [begins 2 December 2012],[58] Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Vancouver2
Japan Airlines operated by JAL ExpressFukuoka, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Itami2
Japan Airlines operated by Japan Transocean AirOkinawa2
Jetstar AirwaysCairns, Darwin, Gold Coast, Manila2
Jetstar JapanFukuoka, Okinawa, Osaka-Kansai, Sapporo-Chitose2
KLMAmsterdam1 North
Korean AirBusan, Jeju, Los Angeles, Seoul-Incheon1 North
LufthansaFrankfurt, Munich1 South
Malaysia AirlinesKuala Lumpur, Los Angeles2
MIAT Mongolian AirlinesUlan Bator1 South
Pakistan International AirlinesBeijing-Capital, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore2
Philippine AirlinesCebu, Manila2
Qatar Airways2Doha1 South
S7 AirlinesKhabarovsk, Vladivostok2
Scandinavian AirlinesCopenhagen1 South
ScootSingapore, Taipei-Taoyuan [all services begins 28 October 2012]TBD
Shandong AirlinesQingdao1 South
Shenzhen AirlinesFuzhou1 South
Skymark AirlinesAsahikawa, Fukuoka, Kobe, Okinawa, Sapporo-Chitose
Seasonal: Kagoshima
Singapore AirlinesLos Angeles, Singapore1 South
SriLankan AirlinesColombo2
Swiss International Air LinesZürich1 South
Thai Airways InternationalBangkok-Suvarnabhumi1 South
TransaeroSeasonal: Moscow-Domodedovo, St. Petersburg1 North
Turkish AirlinesIstanbul-Atatürk1 South
United Airlines3Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chicago-O'Hare, Denver [begins 1 April 2013],[59] Guam, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Houston-Intercontinental, Los Angeles, Newark, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan [ends 26 October 2012], Washington-Dulles1 South
Uzbekistan AirwaysTashkent1 South
Vietnam AirlinesHanoi, Ho Chi Minh City1 North
Virgin Atlantic AirwaysLondon-Heathrow1 North
Yakutia AirlinesCharter: Irkutsk1 South

^1 Aeroméxico's flight from Mexico City to Narita stops in Tijuana, but the flight from Narita to Mexico City is nonstop.

^2 Qatar Airways's flight from Narita to Doha stops in Osaka. However, Qatar Airways does not have rights to transport passengers solely from Narita to Osaka. Flight to Doha will become nonstop effective 28 October 2012.[60]

^3 United's flight to Hong Kong continues to Ho Chi Minh City, but is only available for passengers connecting from the United States. United does not have traffic rights to transport passengers solely between Tokyo and Ho Chi Minh City.

Cargo service

Because of the large volume of foreign fish (especially tuna) imported by air for use in sushi restaurants, Narita Airport is the eighth-largest fishing port in Japan by tonnage.

Air China CargoShanghai-Pudong
Air France CargoParis-Charles de Gaulle
Air Hong KongHong Kong
AirBridgeCargo AirlinesAmsterdam,[61] Moscow-Sheremetyevo
ANA CargoBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Dalian, Hong Kong, Okinawa, Osaka-Kansai, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Taipei-Taoyuan, Xiamen
Atlas Air
Cargo Garuda IndonesiaJakarta-Soekarno-Hatta
Cathay PacificHong Kong
China Airlines CargoTaipei-Taoyuan
China Cargo AirlinesShanghai-Pudong
Emirates SkyCargoDubai[62]
FedEx ExpressAnchorage, Guangzhou, Oakland
Hong Kong Airlines CargoHong Kong
KLM CargoAmsterdam
Korean Air CargoSeoul-Incheon
Lufthansa CargoFrankfurt
MASkargoJohor Bahru, Kuala Lumpur, Penang
Nippon Cargo AirlinesAmsterdam, Anchorage, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Chicago-O'Hare, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Milan-Malpensa, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Kansai, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Tianjin
Polar Air Cargo
Singapore Airlines CargoBangkok-Suvarnabhumi,[63] Singapore
Southern AirAnchorage, Chicago-O'Hare, Seoul-Incheon
Swiss WorldCargoZürich
Thai CargoBangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Taipei-Taoyuan
UPS AirlinesClark, Louisville, Ontario, Shanghai-Pudong
Yanda AirlinesBangkok-Suvarnabhumi

Helicopter service

Narita Heli Express operates charter flights between Narita, Tokyo Heliport, Saitama-Kawajima Heliport and Gunma Heliport from a dedicated helipad with connecting shuttle service to the two terminals.

Other facilities

Japan Airlines Narita Operation Center, the former headquarters of JALways

Nippon Cargo Airlines (NCA) has its headquarters on the grounds of Narita Airport,[64][65] in the NCA Line Maintenance Hangar (NCAライン整備ハンガー NCA Rain Seibi Hangā).[66] Previously NCA had its headquarters on the fourth floor of the Cargo Administration Building (貨物管理ビル Kamotsu Kanri Biru).[67][68]

Japan Airlines operates the Japan Airlines Narita Operation Center (日本航空成田オペレーションセンター Nihon Kōkū Narita Operēshon Sentā?) at Narita Airport. The subsidiary airline JALways once had its headquarters in the building.[69] All Nippon Airways also has a dedicated "Sky Center" operations building adjacent to Terminal 1, which serves as the headquarters of ANA Air Service Tokyo, a ground handling provider which is a joint venture between ANA and the airport authority.

Museum of Aeronautical Sciences

NRT has one on-site hotel, the Airport Rest House adjacent to Terminal 1. The hotel is operated by TFK, a company which also provides in-flight catering services from an adjacent flight kitchen facility.

The Museum of Aeronautical Sciences (航空科学博物館) is located on the south side of Narita Airport and has a number of aircraft on exhibit, including a NAMC YS-11 and a number of small piston aircraft.

Ground transportation


Komaino Junction outside Narita Airport. The tunnel to the left leads to the airport terminal stations; the tunnel to the right leads to Higashi-Narita Station and the Shibayama Railway.
JR Narita Express train
Keisei Skyliner train

Narita Airport has plenty of rail connections, with airport express trains as well as commuter trains running on various routes to Tokyo and beyond. Two operators serve the airport: East Japan Railway Company (JR East), and Keisei Electric Railway. Trains to and from the airport stop at Narita Airport Station (成田空港駅 Narita-kūkō-eki) in Terminal 1 and Airport Terminal 2 Station (空港第2ビル駅 Kūkō-daini-biru-eki) in Terminal 2.

JR trains

Narita Express runs from the airport via the Narita and Sōbu lines to Tokyo Station. The trainsets divide at Tokyo, with one set looping clockwise around central Tokyo to the Saikyō Line, stopping at Shibuya, Shinjuku, Ikebukuro, Ōmiya and/or Takao, while the other set proceeds south to Shinagawa, Yokohama and Ōfuna through the Yokosuka Line. Trains normally run non-stop between Narita Airport and Tokyo, but during rush hours they also stop at Narita, Yotsukaidō and Chiba to accommodate commuters. The daytime non-stop service takes 55 min from the airport to Tokyo. A single trip from the airport to Tokyo Station costs ¥2940, while a trip to more distant stops costs up to ¥4500. All seating is reserved.

Airport Narita is the suburban JR service to the airport. It follows the same route to Tokyo Station but makes 15 intermediate stops en route, taking 80 min as opposed to the non-stop 55-min Narita Express. From Tokyo Station, most trains continue through the Yokosuka Line to Ōfuna, Zushi, Yokosuka and Kurihama in Kanagawa Prefecture. A single trip to Tokyo Station on this route costs ¥1280.

"Green Car" (first class) seats are available on both trains for an additional surcharge.

Keisei trains

Keisei operates two lines between Narita Airport and central Tokyo. The newer Narita Sky Access Line follows an almost straight path across northern Chiba Prefecture, while the older Keisei Main Line passes through the cities of Narita, Sakura and Funabashi. The lines converge at Keisei-Takasago Station in northeast Tokyo and then follow a common right-of-way to Nippori Station and Keisei Ueno Station, both located on the northeast side of the Yamanote Line that loops around central Tokyo.

Keisei operates a number of trains between the airport and Tokyo:

All seats are reserved on the express "Liner" services, while the suburban "Express" services use open seating.


Airport Limousine bus

There are regular bus services to the Tokyo City Air Terminal in 55 minutes, and major hotels and railway stations in the Greater Tokyo Area in 35–120 minutes. These are often slower than the trains because of traffic jams. The chief operator of these services is Airport Transport Service under the "Friendly Airport Limousine" brand. Other operators include Keisei Bus, Chiba Kotsu and Narita Kuko Kotsu.[70]

There is also overnight bus service to Kyoto and Osaka. Buses also travel to nearby US military bases, including Yokosuka Navy Base and Yokota Air Base.


Fixed rate taxi service to Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama, Yokosuka, Miura is available. 14,000 yen – 40,300 yen (expressway tolls 2,250 yen – 2,850 yen are not included in the fixed fare, and need to be paid as a surcharge). Operated by Narita International Airport Taxi Council Members.[71]

The main road link to Narita Airport is the Higashi-Kanto Expressway, which connects to the Shuto Expressway network at Funabashi, Chiba.


Helicopter service from Narita to Ark Hills building complex in near Roppongi in 35 minutes. 37,500 yen (roundtrip) – 45,000 yen (one way) per one person. Operated by Mori Building City Air Service[72] Several airlines include a helicopter transfer as a courtesy for long-haul first class and business class passengers.

Transfer to/from Haneda Airport

Haneda Airport is approximately 1.5–2 hours from Narita Airport by rail or bus. By rail, the Keisei Electric Railway runs direct trains between Haneda and Narita in 101 minutes for ¥1740 as of May 2012.[73] The Tokyo Monorail runs from Haneda to Hamamatsuchō Station in 15–20 minutes. A short transfer to Japan Railway train to Tōkyō Station is required to connect to the Narita Express train to Narita airport.[74] There are also direct buses between the airports operated by Airport Limousine Bus. The journey takes 65–85 minutes or longer depending on traffic and cost ¥3000 as of May 2012.[75]

Cultural references

See also


  1. ^ a b Narita's 4,000-metre (13,123 ft) main runway shares the record for longest runway in Japan with one at Kansai International Airport that opened in 2007.
  2. ^ a b AIS Japan
  3. ^ a b c ACI passenger statistics for 2007
  4. ^ a b c ACI cargo statistics for 2008
  5. ^ a b Duncan McCargo, Contemporary Japan, pp. 152-155 (Google link)
  6. ^ a b c d e f David Apter and Nagayo Sawa, Against the State: Politics and Social Protest in Japan (Google link)
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  8. ^ Japan: Open But Still Embattled, TIME, June 5, 1978.
  9. ^ 成田国際空港の安全確保に関する緊急措置法 (昭和五十三年五月十三日法律第四十二号)
  10. ^ Japan to Open Costly But Convenient Airport, New York Times, August 21, 1994.
  11. ^ " United taking Pacific routes of Pan American, Miami News, Feb. 11, 1986.
  12. ^ All Nippon Airways Decides to Go High Profile Japanese Carrier Kicks Off Major Campaign in U.S., Los Angeles Times, Dec 7, 1987
  13. ^ Narita Journal; An Airport Is Being Strangled by Relentless Foes, New York Times, September 26, 1989.
  14. ^ a b New $1.36 Billion Terminal Is No Cure-All: Tokyo's Troubled Airport, New York Times, December 3, 1992.
  15. ^ Japan opens second runway ahead of World Cup finals, ABC News, April 17, 2002.
  16. ^ a b 航空機誘導路の制限撤廃 成田空港「への字」改修 発着回数増可能に, Sankei Shimbun, March 9, 2011
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  22. ^ 八街市に予想される航空公害
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  71. ^ JNTO
  72. ^ Mori Building City Air Service
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  76. ^ The Japanese Economy | Behind The Japanese Mask | Abroad | How To | Read Free Online Books at How To

External links

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