Japan's government has granted permission to the operator of Narita Airport to expand a runways and its plan to add a third runway to support its growth plans.

According to a report from NHK, the Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism approved the plan of the airport operator that will see over JPY 500 million (USD $4.55 million) worth of upgrades. The plans will see the extension one of its runways (16L/34R) from 2500 meters to 3500 meters, and the construction of a new 3500 meter runway that has been discussed for years prior.

This approval comes after it filed an application with the Japanese government to work on the project in November 2019. Narita Airport expects the work on the projects to be completed by 2030.

As Narita looks to stay competitive compared to other Asian hubs along with Haneda which has become a preferred hub in the Tokyo area, the airport recently extended the opening hours of one of its runways by an hour at night to accommodate more flights.

While it is 56 kilometers west of Tokyo, Narita Airport has served as a main international hub for the city. It is also the 48th busiest airport in the world handling around 40 million passengers in 2016. Until recent years, the airport handled mostly international flights while Haneda Airport - the larger and busiest airport in Japan - handled domestic travel. Airport officials have since opened Haneda up to more international flights.

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