Tokyo’s Haneda airport will launch a terminal-management business at Palau airport in its first such project overseas.
Haneda airport’s passenger terminals have been awarded the “5-Star Airport” rating by Skytrax, a Britain-based air transport research firm, for four years in a row, earning high marks for service, usability and cleanliness. It now hopes to replicate that success with the airport run by the Pacific island nation.
Last year, over 80 million people passed through Haneda, the world’s fifth-busiest airport, and growth is expected to continue ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Domestic terminals 1 and 2 are owned, managed and operated by Japan Airport Terminal Co., while the terminal for international flights is owned, managed and operated by Tokyo International Air Terminal Corp.
Japan Airport Terminal, in cooperation with trading house Sojitz Corp., aims to make the most of its know-how and skills in managing Palau airport through the joint venture Palau International Airport Corp.
Palau airport, which has a 2,100-meter runway, handles midsize jets such as the Boeing 767, but the terminal, which is under the direct management of the Palau government, is narrow, crowded and short on seats.
“There are a number of good hotels but inconvenience at the airport could spoil people’s great memories,” said Kazuo Inaba, deputy senior executive officer of Japan Airport Terminal.
According to the plan, renovation work on the two-story, 5,500-sq.-meter building will begin around May to expand its floor size by about 1.5 times. The total cost of the project is estimated at around ¥3.5 billion ($31 million).
Delta Air Lines operates regular flights between Narita airport and Palau, while All Nippon Airways and Japan Airlines use charter flights.
In 2015, more than 160,000 people including around 30,000 Japanese visited Palau, which is known for its popular diving and snorkeling spots.
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