NARITA, CHIBA PREF. – Most preliminary security checks conducted on the way to Narita International Airport will finally be abolished by the end of fiscal 2014, its operator said.
ID inspections of all visitors at checkpoints on its access road and train stations will be abolished, along with most checks of hand luggage and car trunks, in favor of facial recognition cameras and dogs, it said Thursday.
Travelers have long complained about traffic jams caused by the access road checkpoints during peak hours. Local officials have thus asked that the process be simplified to avoid steering people to Tokyo’s Haneda airport, which is now handling international flights.
Narita, the nation’s main international gateway, is the only airport in Japan that carries out such stringent checks. Considered rare at airports abroad, the checks have been in place since 1978.