flight routes are set to be introduced March 29 for arrivals and departures at
the Haneda International Airport.
Flights will increase. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
(MLIT) keeps an arrogant stance for the sake of enhancing international
competitive strength, disregarding safety of flight and damages to natural
environment. Low-altitude flights over central Tokyo
and the Kawasaki
industrial complexes cannot be accepted.
DANGEROUS LOW-ALTITUDE FLIGHTS OVER CENTRAL TOKYO
the first time in 2014 residents of Tokyo
were announced about a flight increase and a change in flying routes. Already
in 2010 the government had told about an open sky policy package and capacity enlargement
at Narita and Haneda airports, which meant liberalization of air traffic
industries and profit escalation of business entities as well as implementation
of the Free Trade Agreement between US and Japan.
those days inhabitants in the vicinities of Haneda have launched an opposition
campaign, pointing out concerns that may produce the new routes and increased flights.
noise pollution was disastrous at the Haneda Airport,
neighboring municipalities have had experiences that the airport facilities
were made located off-shore by way of civic movements and resolutions of the
local assemblies. A rule ‘to fly toward the Tokyo Bay
and land from the sea’ was established. Rules that ‘consultation is necessary
when a change occura’ (Ota Ward, Tokyo) and ‘flights
over the city are prohibited’ (Kawasaki
City, Kanagawa) were set
in the memorandum of understanding.
‘explanations’ ignore people’s voices
MLIT has held meetings with residents for the past 15 years, but their posture remains
sophistic, saying ‘elaborate explanations’, though people have repeatedly said
that low-altitude flight is dangerous over populous areas of Tokyo, natural
environment may be damaged, and that the issue is grave that cannot be seen in
the rest of the world. But the ministry has not listened sincerely to people’s
opinions. On August 8, 2019, when many issues were left unsolved, Minister of
MLIT publicly told that ‘concerned municipalities had shown a positive posture’,
adding that the plan would start on March 29, 2020.
decision means that the ministry has overlooked the local assembly’s
resolutions and documents to oppose the plan which were presented by the Shinagawa
and Shibuya Wards. Later the assembly of Minato Ward adopted a document on
opposition. It is clear residents do not agree to the ministry’s plan. The
transport authority made the decision under duress as time is short to notice the
countries of a scheduled increase of flights to be assigned.
flights are: while south winds blow, landings on the A and C runways count in
total 44 during a period from 15:00 to 19:00 and taking-offs are approximately
20 from the B runway, while north winds, departures from the C runway count
approximately 22, including a time span from 7:00 to 11:30 in the morning. In
particular, a departure from the B runway, aircraft flies over the Kawasaki industrial
complex, which has been prohibited. An accident or fallen objects may cause a tragedy.
of visually-impaired people
MLIT emphasizes safety, issuing a comprehensive package to cope with falling
objects. But for the past two years as many as 1,180 components were found
lacking at seven airports in the country. If they had dropped over the dense central
including Shinjuku and Shibuya, what would have happened? – it should be appalling.
increases the number of flights, a plane flies every two minutes. Noises will
be substantial. In particular, visually-impaired people who rely on auditory
perception feel uneasy.
scheduled test flights, which were initially set from January 30 with an
objective to measure noises, were converted to flight confirmation tests of aircraft.
Air controllers began to verify operational measures on the new routes, using
planes carrying passengers aboard and to check the descent angle of 3.5 degrees
(currently 3 degrees). The ministry gives priority to air controlling techniques
rather than solving anxieties of residents.
residents’ organizations are established in various districts in Tokyo against the new
flying routes and increased flights. Rallies are held and parades are staged as
well as residents’ groups negotiate with the ministry.
work to win withdrawal of the government’s decision.