The Transport Ministry plans to collect 5.4 billion yen a year in fees from foreign airlines flying through Japanese airspace starting in January 2000, according to the ministry’s fiscal 1999 budget request released Thursday.

The overflight fee will be charged for air traffic control services provided to airplanes that fly through airspace under Japanese control but do not land or take off in the country.

The fee is a relatively new concept in the airline industry that Japan has not adopted. Domestic and foreign carriers currently pay for air traffic control services only when their carriers land and take off in Japan.

The ministry plans to charge for overflights after consulting with the International Air Transport Association and modifying its computer system to prepare for the new fee. The ministry estimates that 60,000 to 70,000 airplanes per year fly through Japanese airspace without landing or taking off in the country. According to a ministry official, many of these planes are from South Korea or the United States.

The new fee is part of efforts to defray operating costs and correct other aviation-related fees, including landing fees, which domestic carriers have criticized as being too high.

As a way to lessen the financial burden on carriers, the ministry plans to cut landing fees by an estimated 23.7 billion yen a year at the country’s regional airports starting in fiscal 1999. The new overflight fee is partly aimed at making up for the expected drop in revenue.

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