Known as a snorkeling and diving destination, and natural island formations, Palau is becoming a prime tourist destination. However, the airport in the island nation has experienced shortage of seats in the small terminal building. It has become a new focus for the management of Tokyo's Haneda Airport.
Haneda's management, Japan Airport Terminal Company, will launch its first overseas project with their counterparts at Palau International Airport. The airport currently has a 2,100 meter long runway which can accommodate aircraft such as the Boeing 767, and the company aims to help solve problems such as the lack of seats and crowding at the airport.
"There are a number of good hotels (in Palau) but inconvenience at the airport could spoil people's great memories (of their visit)," said Kazuo Inaba, deputy senior executive officer of Japan Airport Terminal, who believes the company can make a positive contribution by offering a better passenger experience.
New plans have emerged to build a two-story, 5500 square meter terminal building starting May of 2018 to expand its floor size. It is estimated to cost around 3.5 billion Yen (USD $31 million).
In 2015, 160,000 visited Palau which includes about 30,000 from Japan. The airport serves various airlines offering regular direct connections to cities such as Seoul, Taipei, Tokyo, Macau, Guam, and Manila. Various airlines such as United, Delta, Korean, Asiana, and China Airlines currently serve regular scheduled flights to Palau.