Completion of 2nd Runway at Busy Fukuoka Airport Expected by Autumn

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Heavy machinery is seen in the foreground where a second runway is being built at Fukuoka Airport on Friday.

Construction on a second runway at Fukuoka Airport is expected to be completed in autumn this year, a source in the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry has said.

The construction work is limited mostly to being done at night, but has otherwise gone relatively smoothly and the ministry expects to meet its objective of opening the second runway by the end of March 2025.

Upon completion, the ministry plans to conduct tests of the runway with its own aircraft over a half-year period. Once it is confirmed safe, the ministry will set a date during fiscal 2024 to start simultaneous use of both runways.

Fukuoka Airport, located in Hakata Ward, serves as a hub for international flights to and from the Kyushu region and the western part of the Chugoku region. But because it only has one runway, which is 2,800 meters long and 60 meters wide, congestion and flight delays have become common in peak morning and evening hours.

With the airport’s proximity to other Asian countries, concerns have been raised that it will be unable to handle air traffic demands in the future.

The transport ministry made the decision to build a new runway in 2009, and construction began in fiscal 2016. The new runway is located 210 meters to the west of the current one, and will be 2,500 meters long and 60 meters wide.

To avoid obstructing flight operations, the construction work has been carried out mainly from 10:30 p.m. to 6 a.m. Such tasks as preparing the subsoil and leveling off the ground are progressing.

The work is expected to be completed in September or October this year, at a total cost of ¥164.3 billion.

Upon completion, the ministry will carry out safety checks using its aircraft, such as testing the systems for emitting radio signals for approaching planes.