NAHA, OKINAWA PREF. – Training flights for tilt-rotor Osprey aircraft over Japan’s main islands this week will be conducted on existing routes used by U.S. military planes while abiding by domestic aviation regulations, a U.S. Marine Corps officer said Sunday.
The American military will ensure that controversial low-altitude Osprey training flights around the U.S. Iwakuni air station in Yamaguchi Prefecture, scheduled from Wednesday through Friday, will not violate Japan’s flight restrictions, Stephen Pirrotta, executive officer of U.S. Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 265, told reporters.
Pirrotta’s remarks followed complaints by residents in Okinawa Prefecture that the 12 MV-22 Ospreys deployed at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station Futenma in Ginowan have not been following regulations agreed by Tokyo and Washington to ensure their safe operation.
Japan was earlier informed by U.S. officials that three of the Ospreys currently deployed at the Futenma base will conduct low-altitude training flights this week.