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USAF Kadena base to expand apron

The U.S. Air Force has started construction to expand the apron area for the 353rd Special Operations Group at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa Times learned from the Okinawa Defense Bureau on Feb. 13. After the completion of the construction, the area may become a training base for the CV-22 Osprey. Since 2013, when the construction for expanding the apron and for building hangars was brought to public notice, base-hosting communities have opposed the construction as it can lead to enhancing the base functions. The construction will require about two years. During the construction, the U.S. military plans to use the old apron called “Papa loop.” This may lead to an increase in noise and odor pollution [off-base] residential areas adjacent to the apron. In response to Okinawa Times’ questions, Kadena Town Mayor Hiroshi Toyama said, “The construction including temporary parking of aircraft near [off-base] residential areas is absolutely unacceptable.” (Abridged)

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