Jan 16, 2015

Targeting completion of Fukuoka Airport runway expansion in FY2024

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) plans to promote a project for expansion of Fukuoka Airport's runway. They are launching the project in FY2015 and have set FY2024 as the target for completion. Y500 million (including Y400 million from the government) was allocated for the project in the budget for FY2015. However, the funding scheme has yet to be firmly established. An MLIT official said, "We plan to ensure proper financial resources by promoting airport management reforms in Fukuoka Airport (including concession methods)." MLIT is planning to continue an investigation on specific institutional designs, the project schedule, and how to secure financial resources through concessions.

The runway expansion project for Fukuoka Airport is to develop a 2,500-meter parallel runway, located 210 meters away from the west side of the current runway (which is 2,800 meters). The number of arrivals and departures in Fukuoka Airport is the largest among airports with only one runway. The new runway is being built to solve aircraft congestion problems which chronically occur during peak hours.

The total cost of the project is estimated at Y164.3 billion. Of the total cost, Y120 billion will be covered by the national government and Y40 billion will be shouldered by the municipality. In addition to that, around Y20 billion will be added from private sectors.

Currently, however, funding is an issue. In the FY2015 budget, Y500 million (including Y400 million from the government) was allocated for the first year of the project for investigation and designing; however, the future funding scheme has not been determined yet.

MLIT is considering how to secure financial resources via concessions in Fukuoka Airport. They will continue a study on the detailed plans, including the scale of securing financial resources through concessions, specific institutional designs regarding the concessions, and scheduling.

It will also be necessary to transfer the cargo area in order to expand the runway. It is important to discuss and adjust the detailed plans and schedule of the cargo area's transfer, which is set to implement with related parties in the period between FY2015 and FY2016.

Also, chronic delays have been occurring in Fukuoka Airport's taxiway in the domestic flights terminal (east side) due to congestion of arriving and departing aircraft. To mitigate this, they are planning to implement dual parallel taxiways. Completion of the entire restructuring project of the domestic terminal area is scheduled for FY2019.

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