Narita Airport to Gradually Expand Operating Hours and Extend a Runway, and to Get a Third Runway Around 2028

Today, Narita airport announced that during a meeting with national, prefectural, and local government representatives yesterday, a plan for the airport’s expansion from 300,000 to 500,000 annual arrival and departure slots has been approved.

Narita Airport to Gradually Expand Operating Hours, Extend a Runway, and Get a Third Runway Around 2028

Narita Airport’s Expansion Plan: Longer Hours, Longer “B” Runway, and a New Runway

The three main parts of the expansion plan include:

  • Extending the airport’s operating hours from the current 6:00AM – 11:00PM to 5:00AM – 12:30AM
  • Extending “B” runway (16L/34R) from the current 2,500 m to 3,500 m
  • Building of a third runway

As for Narita’s operating hours extension, by the 2020 Olympics, the operating hours of “A” runway (16R/34L) will be extended by one hour to 6:00AM – 12:00AM.

The airport hours will be extended further once the “B” runway is extended and the third runway is build around 2028, as that will allow for altering between the runways in a way that will give 7 hours of “quiet time” during the night to residents in all of the surrounding areas.

Narita B Runway Extension

As for the third runway itself, it will be 3,500 m long, and it will be built in (nearly) the same direction as the existing two. Its threshold will be about 3 and a half-kilometers southeast of “B” runway (16L/34R), and its centerline will be offset from “B” runway’s by 420 meters.

Once the expansion is complete, the new airport layout will be as follows:

Narita Expansion Plan

With the new layout, the operations will be as follows, depending on the direction of wind:

North Wind

  • A runway: both landings and take-offs
  • B runway: take-offs
  • C runway: landings

South Wind

  • A runway: both landings and take-offs
  • B runway: landings
  • C runway: take-offs

Overall, it is great to see that both the government, residents, and the airport were able to come up with the plan that allows for expansion of the airport without causing too much disruption in the nearby municipalities.

With the expansion, we will hopefully see more airlines operate into Japan resulting in better and cheaper options for more travelers. The completion of the project is still ten years (and one Olympics) away, though, and so, we can only guess what the ultimate results of the project will be.

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