The operator of Narita Airport plans to soon move forward with its plan to extend one of its two runways and build a third by submitting an application to the transport ministry, sources familiar with the move said Saturday.

After receiving the application, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry is expected to hold a public hearing on the matter as early as December, the sources said.

The measures to increase capacity at one of the nation's largest international airports were agreed to by the ministry, local governments and Narita International Airport Corp. in 2018.

The changes are part of efforts to increase the annual number of takeoff and landing slots at the airport from the current 300,000 to 500,000.

Under the new plan, a 2,500-meter runway will be extended to 3,500 meters and a third runway, planned to be 3,500 meters long, will be built in the 2020s.