Airports brace for surge in business jets during 2020 Tokyo Olympics

The Japanese transport ministry is to prepare for what may be large numbers of business jets arriving during the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, informed sources say.

The organizing committee will conduct a survey to determine demand around the time of the 2020 Games. Using the data, the ministry will run simulations on incoming flights and look at how to allocate planes to airports, among other measures, the sources said.

The country is already experiencing increasing numbers of business jet arrivals. In 2013, the total number of arrivals and departures of the planes — both corporate and those used by wealthy individuals — came to around 13,000. The ministry anticipates further rises and is making efforts to meet demand for airport capacity. It believes capacity at Tokyo’s two main airports, Haneda and Narita, will be insufficient during the Olympics, when some athletes and Olympic officials are likely to use business jets. During the 2012 London Olympics, more than 4,000 planes flew to airports in and around London.

The government is considering setting up a temporary system to meet demand during the games, the sources said. Departure and arrival slots, as well as parking for business jets, can normally be reserved by applying to each airport. For the London Olympics, the system for applications was temporarily unified and planes were allocated centrally to airports. Japanese officials are likely to adopt a similar solution.

It is likely that demand will be spread across airports in the Tokyo metropolitan area and regions nearby. For those business jets that end up at local airports, the ministry plans to encourage passengers to see that as a chance to go sightseeing.

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