Over 20 million passengers go through Naha Airport

More than 20 million passengers went through the domestic and international terminals of Naha Airport during fiscal 2016. It marks the first time the total number of passengers exceeds 20 million.

According to figures released Monday, the number of passengers at Naha Airport in 2016 reached 20,036,318 that is a 8.0% increase from the previous year and the 5th consecutive yearly increase. The West Japan Civil Aviation Bureau compiled the figures.

Much of the increase us attributed to the increased flight services by LCC airlines that have driven up the number of tourists.

In an environmental impact appraisal note, the bureau says the second runway currently under construction at Naha Airport is based on a premise that the number of visitors to Okinawa in 2030 would reach 19,280,000. However, it’s very likely that the actual numbers surpass the expectations.

The number of domestic passengers going through Naha Airport was 16,954,819 that is 5.7% more than the previous year, while the international passengers numbered 3,081,499 that is a 23.2% increase. In contrast, in 2009 international passengers totaled 303,046 – that means the number has increased 10-fold in 7 years.

The air cargo volume also increased to about 418,077 tons that was 4.4% more that in 2015 and the most ever. Of the air cargo, the domestic part accounted for 220,472 tons, a 0.7% decrease, while the international shipments increased 10.6% to 196,604 tons. The international air cargo used to be mere 1,809 tons in 2008 when ANA International Cargo hub operation had not yet started, and since then has expanded 100-fold.