Minor airports face funding cuts

Kyodo News

The transport ministry is considering cutting minor airport development outlays to raise financial resources for landing-fee discounts at major airports as it reviews its fiscal 2010 budget request, sources said Wednesday.

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism launched the landing-fee discounts in July to relieve airlines affected by economic deterioration and intends to continue the discounts in fiscal 2010, which begins next April, according to the sources.

The ministry is trying to reduce its earlier fiscal 2010 budget request, including ¥518.3 billion in airport maintenance and development outlays, by more than 10 percent in principle, and use some of the savings for the landing-fee discounts.

But of the outlays, it plans to keep some ¥100 billion set aside for the construction of a fourth runway and other operations at Haneda airport, which transport minister Seiji Maehara has vowed to make Japan’s hub airport, the sources said.

Maehara has indicated the ministry should reform the past airport development practice that effectively allowed even money-losing minor airports to be built.

Smooth traffic flow

OSAKA (Kyodo) A conference of civil aviation officials from the Asia-Pacific region adopted a joint statement Wednesday vowing cooperation in air traffic control for smoother and safer flight operations.