While it estimates the cost of the damage and flooding from Typhoon Jebi, the Kansai Airport has slowly seen the resumption of limited flights.
In the wake of the closure due to the flooding and damage, Kansai Airport will be seeing limited domestic and international flights over the next few weeks.
The resumption of flights is possible as one runway and Terminal 2 was not flooded by the storm tides. On Friday last week, Kansai Airport saw the arrival and departure of 19 flights by Peach Aviation and Japan Airlines, as Peach Aviation and All Nippon Airways planned to resume some its international flights.
New images taken days after Typhoon Jebi show that most of the water has receded, parts of the airport still remains flooded.
While it will see some flights resumed, the main concern has been the urgency to reopen Terminal 1 as it is used by most international airlines. Terminal 1’s basement was flooded and remains without power. Kansai Airport’s operator has stated that depending on the damage, plans have been made to open parts of the Terminal 1 by the end of the week.
The importance to have full operations resume at Kansai Airport was emphasized by Osaka Governor Ichiro Matsui as the Osaka Prefecture recovers from the storm.
“Kansai airport is the main international airport for all of western Japan and we want to make all effort at reopening it as soon as possible,” Matsui said. “But at this point, we’re still assessing the damage …. How long will it take? Passenger safety is first but we want to limit economic damage due to its closure.”
To help address the recovery, a proposal has been made to the government to temporarily shift up to 70 flights usually operated at Kansai Airport to Osaka-Itami and Kobe Airports.
“Recovery efforts are progressing steadily, and we believe it is highly likely that we can restart operations within a week,” Yoshiyuki Yamaya, president of Kansai Airports, told reporters regarding the reopening of Terminal 1 to flights during a recent press conference.
The impact will heavily affect those who have plans travelling to Japan, especially to the Osaka and Kobe regions. It is the third busiest airport behind Tokyo’s Haneda and Narita airports.