New Chitose Airport
|New Chitose Airport
|Operator||Civil Aviation Bureau
Hokkaidō Airport Terminal Co., Ltd. (terminal)
|Serves||Sapporo metropolitan area|
|Location||City of Chitose and Tomakomai|
|Elevation AMSL||70 ft / 21 m|
Source: Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism
New Chitose Airport (新千歳空港 Shin-Chitose Kūkō?) (IATA: CTS, ICAO: RJCC), is an airport located 2.7 NM (5.0 km; 3.1 mi) south southeast of Chitose and Tomakomai, Hokkaidō, Japan, serving the Sapporo metropolitan area. By land area, it is the largest airport in Hokkaidō.
It is adjacent to Chitose Air Base, a Japan Air Self-Defense Force base which houses F-15 Eagle fighter jets, the Japanese Air Force One government aircraft and a number of smaller emergency response aircraft and helicopters. Chitose and New Chitose have separate runways but are interconnected by taxiways, and aircraft at either facility can enter the other by ground if permitted; the runways at Chitose are occasionally used to relieve runway closures at New Chitose due to winter weather. JASDF provides air traffic control for both facilities.
As of 2005, New Chitose Airport was the third busiest airport in Japan (behind Narita and Haneda), although it has now dropped to fifth, and ranked #64 in the world in terms of passengers carried. The 894 km (556 mi) New Chitose - Tokyo Haneda route is the busiest air route in the world, with 8.8 million passengers carried (out of 13.2 million seats available) in 2010.
New Chitose opened in 1991 to replace the adjacent Chitose Airport, a joint-use facility which had served passenger flights since 1963. The airport's IATA airport code was originally SPK. This code was later adopted as a city code to refer to both New Chitose and the smaller Okadama Airport in central Sapporo, which handles commuter flights within Hokkaido.
New Chitose became Japan's first 24-hour airport in 1994. Services between 10 PM and 7 AM are currently limited to six flights per day due to noise alleviation concerns. Four of these slots are currently used by passenger flights to Tokyo while the other two are used by cargo flights.
Along with Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Airport in Russia, it is one of the closest Asian airports to North America along the great circle route used by transpacific flights, and is therefore an ideal refueling stop for many heavy cargo flights between Asia and North America.
New Chitose previously had long-haul service to Amsterdam (KLM, 1997–2002), Cairns (Qantas, 1992–1998 and 2004–2007) and Honolulu (JALWays, 1992–2003, Hawaiian Airlines since 2012). Today, its services to Europe have ceased, while its international services are mainly transporting tourists from the rest of Asia and for sightseeing and skiing. The area surrounding gates 0 through 2, on the north end of the main terminal, was a sterile area for international flights until the international terminal opened for service on March 26, 2010.
The airport was upgraded with additional private aircraft handling facilities for the 34th G8 summit, held in Hokkaido in 2008.
Due to the airport's sharing of air traffic control with Chitose Air Base, daytime civil operations are limited to 32 takeoffs and landings per hour, and operations by certain foreign aircraft (including Chinese and Russian aircraft) are prohibited on Mondays and Thursdays. These restrictions are scheduled to be eased in March 2017.
Accidents and incidents
- On February 23, 2016, Japan Airlines Flight 3512, a Boeing 737 about to depart Chitose for Fukuoka Airport, was evacuated in the midst of a snowstorm due to smoke in the cabin caused by an engine problem. Three passengers were injured in the evacuation.
Airlines and destinations
The airport has a semicircular domestic terminal with eighteen gates, and a smaller international terminal with six gates. Operating hours for international flights at CTS are restricted by the Japanese government in order to avoid interference with JASDF operations at the adjacent air base. As of April 2012, international flights are permitted on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from noon to 4 pm, and from 5 pm on Friday through 11:59 pm on Sunday.
New Chitose Airport Station is located on a spur off the Chitose Line of Hokkaido Railway Company (JR Hokkaido). Rapid service trains operate to and from Sapporo Station, taking 36–39 minutes and costing ¥1,070.
- Hokkaidō Chūō Bus/Hokuto Kotsu joint service (Sapporo 4 trips/hr., Oyachi 4 trips/hr.)
- Hokkaidō Chūō Bus (Asabu 1–2 trips/hr., Miyanosawa 1–2 trips/hr.)
- Hokuto Kotsu (Apa Hotel & Resort 2 trips/hr., Maruyama Park hourly)
- Donan Bus (Tomakomai 1–2 trips/hr., Noboribetsu 3 trips/day, Muroran 12 trips/day, Hobetsu 2 trips/day, Urakawa 2 trips/day)
- Atsuma Bus (Atsuma 3 trips/day)
- 18R/36L and 18L/36R are part of Chitose Air Base and operated by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force
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