City to allow Narita flights until midnight as exception


The city of Narita will allow flights until midnight at its curfew-bound international airport in times of poor weather and other exceptional circumstances, in a bid to boost the competitiveness of the nation’s main gateway.

No flights are currently allowed between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. due to noise concerns. The city is opposing a request by the transport ministry and the airport operator to open the airport at 5 a.m.

The late-night extension, proposed by Mayor Kazunari Koizumi, was endorsed by the municipal assembly. The city will soon consult with neighboring municipalities and present their views to the transport ministry and the operator.

Narita says the late-night extension is contingent on studies into the health effects on residents.

“We need to allow (for a nightly extension) in order to increase the competitiveness of the airport. As for early morning, planes can wait to land after 6 a.m.,” Koizumi told reporters.