By Shun Niekawa
On March 17, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism held a meeting of an expert panel to discuss new ways for aircraft to approach Haneda Airport. The panel, which is tasked with preventing recently established flight routes from becoming permanent, is seeking ways to reduce noise damage from aircraft, including alteration of flight routes, without altering the basic premise that aircraft approach one of the airport’s two north-south runways from the north.
At the meeting, the panel selected six out of 12 proposed approach methods as viable. The rejected options included one already in use at Haneda and another in which safety evaluation is difficult in a case where two planes simultaneously enter the runways. From now on, the panel’s discussion will center around the Required Navigation Performance (RNP) approach, in which aircraft descend in an arc using GPS.
The panel will formulate landing standards and identify safety issues to further narrow down the options. The process is expected to take several more years before a final decision is made.