Expansion Of Intl Flights Seen As Y980bn Boon To Economy

TOKYO (Nikkei)–The increased number of international flights that will become possible starting in fiscal 2011 at Narita and Haneda airports is expected to have an economic ripple effect of 980.4 billion yen a year, according to a calculation released Friday by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism.

Through the expansion of existing runways and the construction of new ones, more international routes will be able to fly into and out of both New Tokyo International Airport at Narita and Tokyo International Airport at Haneda. Compared with fiscal 2007, Narita is expected to handle 20,000 more flights a year in fiscal 2011, and Haneda 50,000 more.

The ministry estimates that this will result in 2.19 million more foreigners visiting Japan each year and 3.87 million more Japanese flying overseas. It calculates that this increased traffic will produce 410 billion yen in increased consumer spending. The figure includes increased spending of 110 billion yen for accommodations, 100 billion yen for airport travel, and 60 billion yen for restaurants.

(The Nikkei June 13 morning edition)

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