Tokyo’s Haneda airport was rated the world’s fourth-busiest in 2012, regaining a position it last held in 2008, according to data from Airport Council International, an organization of global airport operators.
Haneda, formally known as Tokyo International Airport, was pushed down to fifth place in 2009 and 2011 by the rapid growth of China’s Beijing Capital International Airport, which is now the busiest in Asia.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the United States was the world’s busiest with 95.46 million passengers, followed by Beijing Capital with 81.93 million, according to preliminary data released Tuesday by the Montreal-based council.
Britain’s London Heathrow Airport was third-busiest at 70.04 million passsengers.
The top three retained their 2011 rankings.
Haneda came in fourth with 66.80 million, outranking Chicago O’Hare International Airport’s 66.63 million.
No other Japanese airports made it into the top 30. Narita International Airport, the main international gateway to Japan, logged 32.79 million passengers, according to Narita International Airport Corp.
Haneda fully opened to international flights in 2010, but nearly 90 percent of its traffic is for domestic flights, including to Sapporo, one of the most heavily served air routes in the world.
A Haneda official remained upbeat on the airport’s prospects for further growth, given that international flights are expected to grow as well as flight slots. “It won’t be long until we join the top three with annual traffic topping 70 million,” the official said.
Annual flight slots at Haneda are scheduled to expand by 20,000 to hit 410,000 on Sunday and 447,000 a year later.
Centrair to add new terminal in fiscal 2014
Central Japan International Airport near Nagoya will expand its facilities in response to growing air traffic, including via the construction of a new terminal, sources said Friday.
The airport will begin using the new facilities during fiscal 2014. The total cost of the project, which will also create new parking spaces and accommodations for commercial establishments, is expected total less than ¥10 billion.
Budget airlines AirAsia Japan Co. and Jetstar Japan Co. begin services at the airport Sunday. The discount carriers are seeking a simply designed terminal to curb usage fees.