Ministry of Land Begins Flight Tests of New Haneda Airport Routes Over Central Tokyo: Noise Concerns

On February 2nd, Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) began flight tests of large commercial passenger aircraft along the new Haneda Airport routes that are set to begin on March 29th. Currently, only landing routes flying over Tokyo Bay are permitted. Under the new rules, when a southerly wind is blowing, landing aircraft will be permitted to approach from the northwest to the southeast, passing directly over central Tokyo. The purpose of the tests is to double check traffic control operation and take noise measurements.

New Routes

There will be two new landing routes permitted for large commercial aircraft landing at Haneda Airport.

One will allow aircraft approaching from the Pacific to loop through Shinjuku, Shibuya, Minato, and Shinagawa wards before landing.

The second route will have planes passing over Nerima, Nakano, Shibuya, Meguro, and Shinagawa wards.

Planes will be permitted to fly 1,000-meters near Shinjuku about 700-meters near Shibuya, and about 300-meters near Oimachi (Shingawa Ward), with flight times being restricted to between 3PM and 7PM. The Ministry of Land expects there will be noise issues related to the new routes.

Parts of the routes will also have commercial aircraft passing through the eastern part of Yokota airspace, where U.S. forces at Yokota Air Base control air traffic; but Japanese civil aviation authorities will do air traffic control for commercial aircraft.

The test that was conducted on February 2nd took place from about 4:20PM to 6PM in the waterfront and Tennozu district of Shinagawa Ward. Observers on the ground noted that the large passenger aircraft used in the tests made a booming sound and appeared to fly very close to high rise buildings.


Source: Mainichi newspaper, February 3, 2020 (in Japanese)

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Lead photo: Haneda Airport via iStock