Feb 15, 2012

MLIT shortening flight plan submission

The Civil Aviation Bureau (CAB) of Japan's Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has shortened the deadline for the submission of the flight plan for the charter flights of Japanese airline companies to 3-4 days prior to the flight date, from the hitherto 20th day of the previous month at the most. At the study meeting held to discuss the ideal state of technical regulations related to safety, the bureau claimed that their hope is that the flight plans would be submitted at the same time as the tariffs and charges for charter flights. At present, the screening process of the approval of tariffs and charges for charter flights operated by Japanese airlines takes 3-4 days.

With regard to the flight plan of charter flights run by Japanese air carriers, the "20th day in the previous month" has become a crucial deadline in line with the standards for the inclusive travel charters (ITC) of passengers. As for sporadic deals, the CAB accepted applications within the permitted period, but the demand pertaining to the shortening of the approval period for flight plans still surfaced.

As for the approval of tariffs and charges for charter flight, it used to require about seven days of evaluation, but modifications to shorten that period by about half have been underway since the turn of fiscal 2011. The CBA expressed its intention to enable the submission of the flight plans of charter flight at the same time as the application for tariffs and charges.

"With regard to the sporadic charter flights by Japanese airlines, we want to flexibly cope with them within the feasible range henceforth. We also hope to consult with those concerned on a case-by-case basis," claimed an official of the CBA.

The application for the approval of charter flights by foreign capital-funded airline companies is currently 10 days prior to the flight.

Meanwhile, the CBA pointed out its intention to disseminate and thoroughly implement the non-necessity of advanced explanations about the service area and maintenance system in relation to the procedures accompanying charter flight operation by Japanese airlines. In this regard, the CBA claimed that, "Operators need to verify in advance the operation/maintenance system of the service area of charter flights. However, we do not require advanced reporting to the CBA, and in the future, we will thoroughly enforce the non-necessity of advanced reports by air carriers."

Some airline companies provide advanced explanations to the CBA on the operation/maintenance system of the service region when operating charter flights in accordance with their internal regulations. At the above study meeting, requests surfaced calling for the omission of the prior explanation when applying for charter flights.

Now the CBA noted that, "With regard to the appropriateness of the operation/maintenance system of the service region of charter flights, we will check this through audits, if deemed necessary."

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