Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Government to reduce landing fees at rural airports.

The Japan Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Tourism (MLIT) is planning to reduce landing fees at 27 government-managed airports for new flights or frequency increases, starting from fiscal year 2014, in a bid to help airports in rural areas attract and sustain air links.

To apply for the incentive, the airline and the local governments near the airport must jointly submit a long-term plan for the route they wish to start or add a frequency to. A MLIT committee will then evaluate the application, and if approved, the carrier will be entitled to a 80% discount on landing fees for the first year of operations, 50% for the second year, and 30% for the third. The MLIT will cover for the airport's reduced income. Both domestic and international flights will be considered. For example, an airport like Sendai (SDJ/RJSS) currently charges about 55,000 JPY for a Boeing 737 landing, but under the new scheme, a new route or frequency would save the airline 34 million JPY in three years.

Slot-restricted Tokyo/Haneda (HND/RJTT) will not be part of the incentive for obvious reasons, as well as present flights already being operated. In FY2014, the MLIT will come up with additional measures to help rural airports; 300 million JPY has been allocated to support rural airports' projects to lure more tourists and promote air travel.

Source: Nikkei Shimbun (in Japanese)

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