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Okinawa takes first steps toward a new Naha airport runway

Date Posted: 2008-07-04

Okinawa’s governor has given the Chief Cabinet Secretary the prefecture’s proposal for building a second runway to expand Naha International Airport to accommodate more international traffic.

Governor Hirokazu Nakaima met Nobutaka Machimura in Tokyo to advise him of the prefecture’s choice of a plan to build a new runway 1,310 meters west of the present runway. The Ministry of Land Infrastructure and Transport is pressing Okinawa to be sure of its choice, causing Nakaima to question the chief cabinet secretary as to why.

The International Civilian Aviation Organization (ICAO) rules and regulations dictate that when there are two runways at an airport to run parallel to each other, they must be separated by 1,310 meters. Nakaima says that requirement was a driving factor in the prefecture’s agenda choice, because it wants to be fully certified as a true international airport.

“The current runway can be used for civilian airlines,” says Naha Airport Vice President Zenki Nakazato, and the new runway offshore can be used together with Japanese Air Self Defense Forces.” Nakazato says the prefecture needs to begin discussions on that joint use concept.

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