Transport ministry to introduce new system to grade Japan’s airports and prioritize repairs

JIJI

In a bid to prioritize repairs and manage inspections of runways at the nation’s 97 domestic airports, the transport ministry will introduce a new unified system in fiscal 2018 that better gauges the sites.

The ministry hopes the new system that will combine information from airport operators will clarify which airports need to be repaired on a priority basis, officials said.

The new system will accumulate data on the deterioration levels of runway surfaces so that operators, including national and local governments, can quickly learn when and where repairs are needed.

In particular, regional airport operators, which lack ample manpower, are expected to benefit from the system, the officials added.

The new system will be launched next April together with the results of past routine checks. Data will be added for every inspection and repair.

Although access to the stored data will be basically limited to those involved in airport operations, the ministry is considering letting the public access some information, including grades on deterioration levels.

Amid the deterioration of runways at airports built during Japan’s high economic growth period chiefly in the 1960s, the country must implement steady repairs and other maintenance measures on a priority basis.