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Asbestos to slow old Naha airport terminal demolition

Date Posted: 2006-04-07

The abandoned Naha Airport terminal building is to be torn down, but asbestos within the structure will complicate the demolition process.

The old building was replaced a few years ago by a modern, three-story terminal building a kilometer away on the Naha International Airport grounds. The company which operated the old facility dissolved last year, starting the elimination process rolling.

Asbestos, an insulating material that used to be common in building construction, fills the building’s walls, floors and ceilings. The first demolition phase is for a specialized company to remove the asbestos. Workers clad in special security clothing and protective masks will strip out the asbestos by the end of the year.

Once asbestos remediation is complete, the building will be torn down and the land returned to the government. A budget of Y1,000,000,000 has been allocated to three companies, including the local Oshiro Group.

The old terminal served as the focal point for Okinawa’s tourism business for decades, bringing countless thousands of visitors to Okianwa. One official says “to demolish the building makes me very sad and sorry, but that is life.” Stockholders and building owners will reap benefits from the building’s reversion, then decide what next to do with the land.

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