KANSAI Close-up

Kansai airport's second stage to begin in FY96; new runway to be built

The second stage of construction at Kansai International Airport which includes the second runway, will begin next fiscal year, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) announced on December 18.The decision followed budget talks between Finance Minister Masayoshi Takemura and Transport Minister Takeo Hiranuma.The cost of the project has been budgeted at ¥1,560 billion.Buildings and other ground equipment will cost ¥420 billion and preparation of the land ¥1,140 billion.In its negotiations with the Ministry of Finance, MOT agreed to lower its ¥2,130 billion initial request by delaying part of the project.To carry out the work, a ""separate operational entity formula"" will be adopted, meaning construction of airport facilities and land preparation will be handled by different bodies.A land development company therefore will be set up.The landfill area will be reduced from the master plan's some 700 hectares to about 530 hectares.The second stage calls for building a 4,000-meter runway (Runway B) by the year 2007.Upon completion of the runway, the airport would be able to accommodate 180,000 flights a year. The portion of work put off will be completed by 2011, when it is expected to increase the airport's capacity to 230,000 flights per year.To reduce the project cost, the necessity of a second passenger terminal will be studied based on passenger traffic forecasts.Trunk road and railway plans for improved access to the airport will also be changed.Instead, a shuttle transit system between the passenger terminal and a new satellite building will be constructed.Moreover, land development for building a runway for use in crosswinds will be limited to regrading of the property.The interest-free funding will be apportioned 30% to buildings and other facilities and 55% for land development.The national government will cover two-thirds of the interest-free funds while the Kansai community will pay for the rest.