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Narita Intl Airport

Narita International Airport
Narita Kokusai Kūkō
Airport type Public
Operator Narita International Airport Corporation (NAA)
Serves Tokyo
Location Narita, Chiba, Japan
Hub for
  • Japan Airlines
  • All Nippon Airways
  • Delta Air Lines
  • JAL Cargo (cargo)
  • Nippon Cargo Airlines (cargo)
Elevation AMSL 135 ft / 41 m
Coordinates 35°45′53″N 140°23′11″E / 35.76472°N 140.38639°E / 35.76472; 140.38639 (Narita International Airport)Coordinates: 35°45′53″N 140°23′11″E / 35.76472°N 140.38639°E / 35.76472; 140.38639 (Narita International Airport)
Direction Length Surface
m ft
16R/34L 4,000 13,123 Asphalt/Concrete
16L/34R 2,500 8,202 Asphalt
Statistics (2007/2009)
Number of passengers 29,186,494 (2009)
Total cargo (metric tonnes) 2,099,349 (2008)
Sources: Japanese AIP at AIS Japan
Passengers and cargo from ACI
:A.^ Extended from 2,180 m (7,152 ft) in Fall 2009.

Narita International Airport (成田国際空港 Narita Kokusai Kūkō) (IATA: NRT, ICAO: RJAA) is an international airport serving the Greater Tokyo Area of Japan. It is located 57.5 km (35.7 mi) east of Tokyo Station and 7 km (4.3 mi) east-southeast of Narita Station in the city of Narita, with some portions extending into the adjacent town of Shibayama.

Narita handles the majority of international passenger traffic to and from Japan, and is also a major connecting point for air traffic between Asia and the Americas. The airport handled 35,478,146 passengers in 2007. It is the second-busiest passenger airport in Japan, busiest air freight hub in Japan, and eighth-busiest air freight hub in the world. It serves as the main international hub of Japan`s Flag carrier Japan Airlines, All Nippon Airways and Nippon Cargo Airlines. It also serves as an Asian hub for the US based Delta Air Lines and as a focus city for United Airlines and Vietnam Airlines. Under Japanese law, it is classified as a first class airport.

The airport was known as New Tokyo International Airport (新東京国際空港 Shin-Tōkyō Kokusai Kūkō) until 2004, but was commonly called "Tokyo Narita" even before it was officially renamed to differentiate it from Tokyo International Airport, commonly called "Tokyo Haneda."



Protest outside Narita City Hall in 1968.
Protest outside Narita City Hall in 1968.

Steel tower built by protesters adjacent to Narita Airport.
Steel tower built by protesters adjacent to Narita Airport.

The guard wall and towers surrounding Narita Airport can be clearly seen from aircraft landing at the airport.
The guard wall and towers surrounding Narita Airport can be clearly seen from aircraft landing at the airport.

By the early 1960s, Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport) was quickly becoming overcrowded. Its location on Tokyo Bay made further expansion difficult, as a large amount of new land would have to be created in order to build more runways and terminals. While this strategy was used for later airport projects in Japan (such as Kansai International Airport), the government believed that landfill in the bay would be too costly and difficult, and would hinder the development of the Port of Tokyo. Haneda also suffered from airspace restrictions due to its central location and proximity to US airbases, so the government feared that further expansion of Haneda would lead to overcrowding in the sky.

In 1962, the Japanese government began investigating possible alternatives to Haneda, and proposed a "New Tokyo International Airport" to take over Haneda's international flights. The rapid postwar growth of Tokyo caused a shortage of available flat land in the Kantō region, so the only viable location for the airport was in rural Chiba Prefecture. Initially, surveyors proposed placing the airport in the village of Tomisato; however, the site was moved 5 km northeast to the villages of Sanrizuka and Shibayama, where the Imperial Household had a large farming estate. This development plan was made public in 1966.

At the time, the socialist movement still possessed considerable strength in Japan, evidenced by the large-scale student riots in Tokyo in 1960. Many in the "new left" such as Chukaku-ha opposed the construction of Narita Airport, reasoning that the real purpose for the new airport was to promote capitalism and to provide additional facilities for US military aircraft in the event of war with the Soviet Union. These individuals sought to ally with the more conservative local farmers who simply did not want to give up their land for the airport.

Around 1966, a group of local residents combined with student activists and left-wing political parties formed a popular resistance group known as the Sanrizuka-Shibayama Union to Oppose the Airport (三里塚・芝山連合空港反対同盟 Sanrizuka-Shibayama Rengo Kūkō Hantai Dōmei), which remained active until fracturing in 1983. Similar strategies had already been employed during the postwar era to block the expansion of Tachikawa Air Base and other US military facilities in Japan. In June and July 1966, the Union sent formal protests to the mayor of Narita, the governor and vice-governor of Chiba Prefecture and the prefectural office of the Liberal Democratic Party. In November 1967, when the Transport Ministry began surveying the perimeter of the airport, Union members set up roadblocks. The Zengakuren radical student union then began sending students to Narita to help the local farmers.

Eminent domain power had rarely been used in Japan up to that point. Traditionally, the Japanese government would offer to relocate homeowners in regions slated for expropriation, rather than condemn their property and pay compensation as provided by law. In the case of Narita Airport, this type of cooperative expropriation did not occur: some residents went as far as using terror by threatening to burn down new homes of anyone who would voluntarily move out.

Under the 1966 plan, the airport would have been completed in 1971, but due to the ongoing resettlement disputes, not all of the land for the airport was available by then. Finally, in 1971, the Japanese government began forcibly expropriating land. 291 protesters were arrested and more than 1,000 police, villagers and student militants were injured in a series of riots, notably on 16 September 1971 when three policemen were killed in a riot involving thousands. Some protesters chained themselves to their homes and refused to leave.

Takenaka Corporation constructed the first terminal building, which was completed in 1972. The first runway took several more years due to constant fights with the Union and sympathizers, who occupied several pieces of land necessary to complete the runway and temporarily built large towers in the runway's path. The runway was completed and the airport scheduled to open on March 30, 1978, but this plan was disrupted when, on March 26, 1978, a group armed with Molotov cocktails drove into the airport in a burning car, broke into the control tower and destroyed much of its equipment, causing approx. $500,000 in damages and delaying the opening by another two months, to May 20, 1978.

Although the airport did open, it opened under a level of security unprecedented in Japan. The airfield was surrounded by opaque metal fencing and overlooked by guard towers staffed with riot police. 14,000 security police were present at the airport's opening and were met by 6,000 protesters; a Japanese newscaster remarked at the time that "Narita resembles nothing so much as Saigon Airport during the Vietnam War." Protestors attacked police on the opening day with rocks and firebombs while police responded with water cannon; on the other side of Tokyo, a separate group of protestors claimed responsibility for cutting the power supply to an air traffic control facility at Tokorozawa, which shut down most air traffic in the Tokyo area for several hours.

The Diet of Japan passed a special statute, the Emergency Measures Act Relating to the Preservation of Security at New Tokyo International Airport (新東京国際空港の安全確保に関する緊急措置法), specifically banning the construction and use of buildings for violent and coercive purposes relating to the new airport. Passengers arriving at the airport were subject to baggage and travel document searches before even entering the terminal, in an attempt to keep anti-airport activists and terrorists out of the facility.

The conflicts at Narita were a major factor in the decision to build Kansai International Airport in Osaka offshore on reclaimed land, instead of again trying to expropriate land in heavily populated areas.

Japan`s flag carrier, Japan Airlines moved its main international hub from Haneda to Narita, and Northwest and Pan American also moved their Asian regional hubs from Haneda to Narita. Pan American sold its Pacific Division, including its Narita hub, to United Airlines in February 1986. All Nippon Airways began scheduled international flights from Narita to Guam in 1986.

Original expansion plans

Terminal 2 control tower and people mover system
Terminal 2 control tower and people mover system

New Tokyo International Airport was originally envisioned to have five runways, but the initial protests in 1965 led to a down-scaling of the plan to three runways: two parallel northwest/southeast runways 4,000 metres (13,123 ft) in length and an intersecting northeast/southwest runway 3,200 metres (10,499 ft) in length. Upon the airport's opening in 1978, only one of the parallel runways was completed; the other two runways were delayed to avoid aggravating the already tense situation surrounding the airport. The original plan also called for a high-speed rail line, the Narita Shinkansen, to connect the airport to central Tokyo, but this project was also cancelled with only some of the necessary land obtained.

By 1986, the strengthening Japanese yen was causing a surge of foreign business and leisure travel from Japan, which made Narita's capacity shortage more apparent. However, eight families continued to own slightly less than 53 acres (21 ha) of land on the site which would need to be expropriated in order to complete the other two runways. Although the government could legally force a sale of the land, it elected not to do so in order to avoid aggravating the situation. By 1992, Narita was handling 22 million passengers a year, despite only having a design capacity of 13 million.

On November 26, 1986, the airport authority began work on Phase II, a new runway north of the airport's original main runway. To avoid the problems that plagued the first phase, the Minister of Transport promised in 1991 that the expansion would not involve expropriation. Residents in surrounding regions were compensated for the increased noise-pollution with home upgrades and soundproofing.

A second passenger terminal opened in December 1992 at a cost of $1.36 billion. The new terminal had approximately 1.5 times the space of the older terminal, but its anti-congestion benefits were delayed because of the need to close and renovate much of the older terminal. The airport's land situation also meant that the taxiway to the new terminal was one-way for much of its length, and that taxi times between the terminal and runway were up to 30 minutes.

The second runway opened on April 17, 2002, in time for the World Cup events held in Japan and Korea that year. However, its final length of 2,180 m, much shorter than its original plan length (2500m), left it too short to accommodate Boeing 747s. The new runway opened up additional slots, particularly for carriers from other Asian countries, who were favored disproportionately over American and European incumbents. In particular, Taiwan flag carriers China Airlines and EVA Air were granted slots upon opening of the new runway and were able to move their Tokyo operations to Narita from Haneda Airport, where they had been operating since the opening of Narita in order to avoid frustrating Japanese relations with the People's Republic of China.

Through the end of the 1980s, Narita Airport's train station was located fairly far from the terminal, and passengers faced either a long walk or a bus ride (at an additional charge and subject to random security screenings). Transport Minister Shintaro Ishihara, now governor of Tokyo, pressed airport train operators JR and Keisei Railway to connect their lines directly to the airport's terminals, and opened up the underground station that would have accommodated the Shinkansen for regular train service. Direct train service to Terminal 1 began on March 19, 1991, and the old Narita Airport Station was renamed Higashi-Narita Station.

The Japanese government has invested in several infrastructure projects in order to address the demands of airport neighbors. The largest of these is the Shibayama Railway, a short railway connection between the Keisei Main Line and the area immediately east of Narita Airport. This line opened in 2002 with government and NAA support after extensive demands from Shibayama residents, and provides a direct rail link from Shibayama to Narita City, Chiba City and central Tokyo. Another such project is the Museum of Aeronautical Sciences in Shibayama Town, which draws tourists and student groups to the area.

In 2003, a Narita International Airport Corporation Act (成田国際空港株式会社法) was passed to provide for the privatization of the airport. As part of this change, on April 1, 2004, New Tokyo International Airport was officially renamed Narita International Airport, reflecting its popular designation since its opening. The airport was also moved from government control to the authority of a new Narita International Airport Corporation.

Notable accidents and incidents

  • On January 30, 1979, after an exhibition in Tokyo, 153 of Manabu Mabe's paintings were on board of a Varig, cargo Boeing 707-323C registration PP-VLU en route from Narita International Airport to Rio de Janeiro-Galeão via Los Angeles. The aircraft went missing over the Pacific Ocean some 30 minutes (200 km ENE) from Tokyo. Causes are unknown since the wreck was never found. The paintings were lost.
  • 1985: On June 22, a piece of luggage exploded while being transferred to Air India Flight 301, killing two baggage handlers. The luggage had originated at Vancouver International Airport. Fifty-five minutes later, another piece of luggage, also originating from Vancouver, exploded on Air India Flight 182, killing all onboard.
  • In the late 1980s, the Union to Oppose the Airport constructed two steel towers, 30.8 metres (101 ft) and 62.3 metres (204 ft) respectively, blocking the northbound approach path to the main runway. In January 1990, the Chiba District Court ordered the towers dismantled without compensation to the Union; the Supreme Court of Japan upheld this verdict as constitutional in 1993.
  • 1987: Chukaku-ha, a radical organization, carried out a simultaneous overnight bombing of the offices of five companies in the Greater Tokyo Area involved in the Phase II expansion of Narita Airport.
  • 1994: On December 11, Philippine Airlines Flight 434 was en route from Cebu to Narita when a bomb on board exploded, killing a passenger. The airliner was able to make an emergency landing in Okinawa. Authorities later found out that the bomb was a test run for the Project Bojinka plot, which targeted several U.S. airliners departing Narita on January 21, 1995 as part of its first phase.
  • 1997: United Airlines Flight 826 experienced severe turbulence after leaving Narita en-route for Honolulu. Due to injuries sustained by passengers, the aircraft made an emergency landing at Narita. One woman on the flight died of her injuries.
  • January 31, 2001: Japan Airlines Flight 958, bound for Narita from Gimhae International Airport in Busan, nearly collided with another Japan Airlines aircraft. The other aircraft, a Boeing 747, suddenly dived and avoided the Narita-bound DC-10 by mistake of air traffic controller. See: 2001 Japan Airlines mid-air incident
  • 2001: In May, Kim Jong-nam, the son of North Korean President Kim Jong-il, was arrested at Narita Airport for traveling with a counterfeit passport, and was deported to the People's Republic of China.
  • January 27, 2003: All Nippon Airways Flight 908 (Operated by Air Japan), an Boeing 767 aircraft from Incheon International Airport, Korea, overshot on Runway 16L/34R after landing. Was closed for a overnight due to necessary investigations and repairs. This was the first such incident of overrunning at Narita and overnight closed to occur at the airport since its opening in 1978.
  • 2004: On July 13, Bobby Fischer was detained at Narita Airport for using an invalid U.S. passport while trying to board a Japan Airlines flight to Manila. He left Japan a year later after obtaining asylum in Iceland.
  • 2009: On March 23, FedEx Express Flight 80, an MD-11 aircraft from Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport, China, crashed on Runway 16R/34L during landing, killing both the pilot and co-pilot. Runway 16R/34L, which is required for long-distance flights and heavier aircraft, was closed for a full day due to necessary investigations, repairs and removal of wreckage. This was the first fatal airplane crash to occur at the airport since its opening in 1978.
  • 2009-2010: From November 4, 2009 to February 3, 2010, Chinese human rights defendant Feng Zhenghu remained near the immigration checkpoint in the south wing of Terminal 1, after having been refused re-entry into China.
  • Since 2009, Narita police have been actively profiling non-Japanese people at various points of Narita airport. This has caused some anger within Japan's resident foreign community.

Current issues

An aerial view of the airport, showing the busy operations that takes place on a daily basis
An aerial view of the airport, showing the busy operations that takes place on a daily basis


Following privatization, the airport has reached record traffic levels, and several construction projects are ongoing.

Narita's 2,180-metre (7,152 ft) Runway B was extended to 2,500 metres (8,202 ft), which will allow increased use by heavy aircraft such as Boeing 747s. The limitations of the shorter runway were made apparent in the 2009 crash of FedEx Express Flight 80, which shut down the longer Runway A and forced some heavy aircraft to divert to other airports. The extension opened on October 22, 2009. It will allow an additional 20,000 flights per year.

Several gates at Narita are also being refitted with double-decker jetbridges to accommodate the Airbus A380.


Arguments over slots and landing fees have plagued the busy airport. Because so many airlines want to use it, the Japanese aviation authorities have limited the number of flights each airline can operate from this airport, making the airport expensive for both airlines and their passengers.

Although the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has given Narita a monopoly on international air service to the Tokyo region, that monopoly has been gradually weakening. Haneda has had limited international service for some time, beginning with flights to Taiwan and later replaced by flights to Gimpo Airport in Seoul, and Hongqiao Airport in Shanghai. Following the construction of Haneda's Runway D in 2009, the government aims to transfer other international services to Haneda in order to relieve Narita's congestion and expansion problems. The Ministry of Transport continues to investigate the possibility of building a new reliever airport on an artificial island in Tokyo Bay or off the Kujukuri coast of Chiba Prefecture. Tokyo Governor Shintaro Ishihara has proposed redeveloping Yokota Air Base in western Tokyo as a civil airport.

Hyakuri Airfield (Ibaraki Airport), opened in March 11, 2010, may relieve traffic for domestic passengers destined to/from Ibaraki and Tochigi Prefectures, and potentially those in Gunma. Technically, the runway there is large enough for jumbo jets. Shizuoka Airport, opened June 2009, may take away Numazu-Fuji area passengers that would otherwise come to Narita.

Surface access

Railway routes between Tokyo and NRT. Narita Express of JR is in gray. New Skyliner route is in purple. The Keisei Main Line is in green.
Railway routes between Tokyo and NRT. Narita Express of JR is in gray. New Skyliner route is in purple. The Keisei Main Line is in green.

One of the most constant criticisms of the airport has been its distance from central Tokyo—an hour by the fastest train, and often longer by road due to traffic jams. The distance is even more problematic for residents and businesses in west Tokyo and Kanagawa Prefecture, both of which are much closer to Tokyo International Airport (Haneda Airport).

The Narita Rapid Railway, which opened on July 17, 2010, will alleviate the problem to some extent by shaving 20 minutes off the travel time. The line's new Skyliner express trains with a maximum speed of 160 km/h are scheduled between Tokyo's Nippori Station and Airport Terminal 2 Station in 36 minutes, which compares favourably with other major airports worldwide. A new expressway, the North Chiba Road, is also under construction along the Narita Rapid Railway corridor. Improvements such as the Wangan Expressway have already shaved off travel time to Kanagawa Prefecture by bypassing Tokyo.


Narita Airport is the first Japanese airport to house millimeter wave scanners. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport announced in March 2010 that trials would be carried out at Narita from July 5 through September 10, 2010. Five types of machines are to be tested sequentially outside the Terminal 1 South Wing security checkpoint; the subjects are Japanese nationals who volunteer for trial screening, as well as airport security staff during hours when the checkpoint is closed.

Terminals, airlines, and destinations

Plan of the airport
Plan of the airport

Narita Airport has two separate terminals with separate underground train stations. Connection between the terminals is by shuttle bus (buses are available both inside and outside the security area. Buses inside the security is only for connecting passengers) and trains; there is no pedestrian connection.


Terminal 1

Exterior of the Terminal 1 building with the Central Building and North Wing visible.
Exterior of the Terminal 1 building with the Central Building and North Wing visible.

Terminal 1 uses a satellite terminal design. The landside of the terminal is divided into a North Wing (北ウイング kita-uingu), Central Building (中央ビル chūō-biru), and South Wing (南ウイング minami-uingu). Two circular satellites, Satellites 1 (gates 11-18) and 2 (gates 21-24), are connected to the North Wing, Satellite 3 (gates 26-38) is a linear concourse connected to the Central Building,Check-in is processed on the fourth floor, and departures and immigration control are on the third floor. Arriving passengers clear immigration on the second floor, then claim their baggage and clear customs on the first floor. Most shops and restaurants are located on the fourth floor of the Central Building. The South Wing includes a duty free mall called "Narita Nakamise", the largest airport duty-free brand boutique mall in Japan.

North Wing

The North Wing is dominated by SkyTeam carriers including Delta Air Lines which moved from Terminal 2 in 2007, shortly after a reciprocal move by Oneworld carriers American Airlines and Cathay Pacific. British Airways (Oneworld), Virgin Atlantic and Aircalin are the only non-SkyTeam carriers operating from the North Wing. Continental Airlines relocated to the South Wing on November 1, 2009 after joining Star Alliance. British Airways plans to move its operations to Terminal 2 in November 2010 in order to ease connections with Oneworld partner Japan Airlines.

South Wing

The South Wing and Satellite 5 opened in June 2006 as a terminal for Star Alliance carriers. Today, all Star Alliance members use this wing, except for Air New Zealand and Egypt Air, which currently use Terminal 2. The following are non-Star Alliance members: EVA Air, MIAT, Uzbekistan Airways, Vladivostok, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways. The South Wing has seven stories, and the first floor contains facilities for domestic flights by ANA. [5] It is the first airport terminal in Japan to offer curbside check-in service and baggage reconnecting facilities for passengers connecting from international to domestic flights.

Terminal 2

Terminal 2 Departure lobby
Terminal 2 Departure lobby

Terminal 2
Terminal 2 "Gobangai" arcade

Terminal 2 is divided into a main building (honkan) and satellite, both of which are designed around linear concourses. The two are connected by the Terminal 2 Shuttle System, which was designed by Japan Otis Elevator and was the first cable-driven people mover in Japan.

Check-in and departures and Immigration control for arriving passengers is on the second floor, and baggage claim and customs are on the first floor.

For domestic flights, three gates (65, 66, and 67) in the main building are connected to both the main departures concourse and to a separate domestic check-in facility. Passengers connecting between domestic and international flights must exit the gate area, walk to the other check-in area, and then check in for their connecting flight.

Japan Airlines is currently the main operator in T2; several Oneworld carriers which used to be in T1 (except British Airways) moved their operations to T2 in early 2007 so as to ease connections to and from flights operated by oneworld partner Japan Airlines. Air New Zealand and EgyptAir (Star Alliance carriers), China Southern Airlines and Vietnam Airlines (SkyTeam carriers) and Emirates are the only non Oneworld carriers operating from Terminal 2.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations Terminal
Aeroflot Moscow-Sheremetyevo 1 North
Aeroméxico Mexico City 1 North
Air Busan Busan (charter, 3 flights per week)
Air Canada Toronto-Pearson, Vancouver
Seasonal: Calgary
1 South
Air China Beijing-Capital, Chengdu, Chongqing, Dalian, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenzhen 1 South
Air France Paris-Charles de Gaulle 1 North
Air India Delhi 2
Air Macau Macau 2
Air New Zealand Auckland 2
Air Niugini Port Moresby 2
Air Tahiti Nui Papeete 2
Aircalin Nouméa 1 North
Alitalia Milan-Malpensa, Rome-Fiumicino 1 North
All Nippon Airways Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Chicago-O'Hare, Dalian, Frankfurt, Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Ho Chi Minh City, Hong Kong, Jakarta [resumes 7 January], London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila [begins 27 February], Munich, Nagoya-Centrair, Naha, New York-JFK, Osaka-Itami, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, Qingdao, San Francisco, Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Shenyang, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Washington-Dulles 1 South
All Nippon Airways operated by Air Central Nagoya-Centrair, Sendai 1 South
All Nippon Airways operated by Air Japan Hong Kong, Honolulu, Singapore, Taipei-Taouyan 1 South
All Nippon Airways operated by Air Nippon Fukuoka, Mumbai, Xiamen 1 South
All Nippon Airways operated by Ibex Airlines Hiroshima, Komatsu, Sapporo-Chitose, Sendai 1 South
American Airlines Chicago-O'Hare, Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, New York-JFK 2
Asiana Airlines Seoul-Incheon 1 South
Japanese Airlines Vienna 1 South
British Airways London-Heathrow 1 North
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong, Taipei-Taoyuan 2
China Airlines Honolulu, Kaohsiung [begins 31 October], Taipei-Taoyuan 2
China Eastern Airlines Beijing-Capital, Nanjing, Shanghai-Pudong, Xi'an 2
China Southern Airlines Changchun, Dalian, Guangzhou, Shenyang 2
Continental Airlines Houston-Intercontinental, Newark 1 South
Continental Airlines operated by Continental Micronesia Guam 1 South
Delta Air Lines Atlanta, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Busan, Detroit, Guam, Hong Kong, Honolulu, Koror [begins 22 December], Los Angeles, Manila, Minneapolis/St. Paul, New York-JFK, Portland (OR), Saipan, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan
Seasonal: Salt Lake City
1 North
EgyptAir Cairo 2
Emirates Dubai 2
Etihad Airways Abu Dhabi 1 South
EVA Air Taipei-Taoyuan 1 South
Finnair Helsinki 2
Garuda Indonesia Denpasar/Bali, Jakarta 2
Hong Kong Airlines Hong Kong [begins 31 October]
Iran Air Beijing-Capital, Tehran-Imam Khomeini 2
Japan Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Busan, Chicago-O'Hare, Dalian, Delhi, Frankfurt, Fukuoka, Guangzhou, Hanoi, Hong Kong, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta, Kaohsiung, Kuala Lumpur, London-Heathrow, Los Angeles, Manila, Moscow-Domodedovo, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Osaka-Itami, Osaka-Kansai, Paris-Charles de Gaulle, San Francisco [ends 31 October], Sapporo-Chitose, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong, Singapore, Sydney, Taipei-Taoyuan, Vancouver 2
Japan Airlines operated by JAL Express Fukuoka, Nagoya-Centrair, Osaka-Itami 2
Japan Airlines operated by JALways Guam, Honolulu, Kona [ends 30 October], Sydney 2
Japan Airlines operated by Japan Transocean Air Naha 2
Jetstar Airways Cairns, Gold Coast 2
KLM Amsterdam 1 North
Korean Air Busan, Jeju, Los Angeles, Seoul-Incheon 1 North
Lufthansa Frankfurt, Munich 1 South
Malaysia Airlines Kota Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur, Kuching 2
MIAT Mongolian Airlines Seoul-Incheon, Ulan Bator 1 South
Pakistan International Airlines Beijing-Capital, Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore 2
Philippine Airlines Cebu, Manila 2
Qantas Perth, Sydney 2
Qatar Airways Doha 1 South
Scandinavian Airlines Copenhagen 1 South
Shenzhen Airlines Fuzhou 1 South
Singapore Airlines Los Angeles, Singapore 1 South
SriLankan Airlines Colombo, Malé 2
Swiss International Air Lines Zürich 1 South
Transaero Airlines Seasonal: St.Petersburg 2
Thai Airways International Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Phuket 1 South
Turkish Airlines Istanbul-Atatürk 1 South
United Airlines Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Chicago-O'Hare, Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle/Tacoma, Seoul-Incheon, Singapore, Taipei-Taoyuan, Washington-Dulles
Seasonal: Beijing-Capital
1 South
Uzbekistan Airways Tashkent 1 South
Vietnam Airlines Hanoi, Ho Chi Minh City 2
Virgin Atlantic Airways London-Heathrow 1 North
Vladivostok Air Khabarovsk, Vladivostok, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky [seasonal charter] 1 South

^1 Delta also operates "international" flights to Osaka-Kansai and Nagoya which allow connections to destinations in Asia and the United States.

Cargo service

Because of the large volume of foreign fish (especially tuna) imported by air for use in sushi restaurants, Narita Airport is the eighth-largest fishing port in Japan by tonnage.

Airlines Destinations
Aeroflot-Cargo Moscow-Sheremetyevo
AirBridgeCargo Airlines Amsterdam, Moscow-Sheremetyevo
Air France Cargo Paris-Charles de Gaulle
Air Hong Kong Hong Kong
Atlas Air
Cathay Pacific Hong Kong
China Cargo Airlines Shanghai-Pudong
FedEx Express Guangzhou, Memphis, Paris-Charles de Gaulle
KLM Cargo Amsterdam
Korean Air Cargo Seoul-Incheon
Lufthansa Cargo Frankfurt
MASkargo Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Johor Bahru
Nippon Cargo Airlines Amsterdam, Anchorage, Bangkok-Suvarnabhumi, Beijing-Capital, Chicago-O'Hare, Guadalajara, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, Nagoya-Centrair, New York-JFK, Milan-Malpensa, Osaka-Kansai, San Francisco, Seoul-Incheon, Shanghai-Pudong
Polar Air Cargo
Singapore Airlines Cargo Singapore
UPS Airlines Louisville, Ontario, Shanghai, Clark

Helicopter service

Narita Heli Express operates charter flights between Narita, Tokyo Heliport, Saitama-Kawajima Heliport and Gunma Heliport from a dedicated helipad with connecting shuttle service to the two terminals.

Other facilities

Japan Airlines Narita Operation Center, the headquarters of JALways

Japan Airlines operates the Japan Airlines Narita Operation Center (日本航空成田オペレーションセンター Nihon Kōkū Narita Operēshon Sentā) at Narita Airport. The subsidiary airline JALways has its headquarters in the building.

Ground transportation


Komaino Junction outside Narita Airport. The tunnel to the left leads to the airport terminal stations; the tunnel to the right leads to Higashi-Narita Station and the Shibayama Railway.
JR Narita Express train
Keisei Skyliner train

Narita Airport has three rail connections, operated by JR East, Keisei Electric Railway and Narita Rapid Railway. Trains to and from Narita stop at Narita Airport Station (成田空港駅 Narita-kūkō-eki) in Terminal 1 and Airport Terminal 2 Station (空港第2ビル駅 Kūkō-daini-biru-eki) in Terminal 2. And Shibayama Railway stop at Higashi-Narita Station. Higashi-Narita is connected by a walkway to the Terminal 2.

The airport was originally planned to be served by the Narita Shinkansen, construction of which was started in 1974, but the same expropriation issues afflicting the airport also hit the new line and the plan was eventually officially abandoned in 1987. Direct train service to the terminal, on ordinary trains using a short spur track from previous right of way, thus only started in 1990, twelve years after the airport opened.

JR East

The most expensive train (and one of the fastest) to the airport is the Narita Express. Journey times between the airport and Tokyo Station in Chiyoda, Tokyo vary from 53 minutes to 70 minutes depending on the time of departure.

All Narita Express trains serve Narita Airport Terminal 1, Narita Airport Terminal 2 and Tokyo Station. Some trains also make additional stops between the airport and Tokyo – at Narita or at Chiba Station.

All seating on the Narita Express trains is reserved. The assigned seat number and car number are indicated on the tickets. Tickets can be purchased from agents in the arrivals hall of each terminal and from automatic ticket vending machines.

JR also offers rapid service Kaisoku Airport Narita trains to Tokyo Station, which take 90 minutes but cost less than the Narita Express. These trains stop at several stations on the Narita Line and Sobu Line en route to Tokyo. Most continue on to stops on the Yokosuka Line, going as far as Kurihama Station in Yokosuka, Kanagawa Prefecture.


Keisei's Skyliner limited express connected to Narita Airport and Nippori Station in 36 minutes, Ueno Station in 41 minutes via the new Narita Sky Access Line, with trains running at up to 160 km/h.

The journey between Narita Airport and Nippori has the shortest time of any transportation link between the airport and central Tokyo. However, for travellers whose final destination is in the South of Tokyo or near Tokyo station, it can be quicker to take the Narita Express than to take the Skyliner and then make a connection at Nippori or Ueno.

As with the Narita Express, all seating on Skyliner trains is reserved. Seat allocations are indicated on the tickets, which can be purchased from agents in the airport terminal.

Regular Keisei trains cost about half as much as the Skyliner and are the cheapest rail connection to the airport, although they make many stops, are slow and are often crowded.

Keisei also offers connecting and through service from Narita Airport to Haneda Airport, a cooperative service with the Toei Asakusa Line and Keihin Kyuko Railway. Airport Rapid Limited (エアポート快特 Eapōto Kaitoku) trains, which make limited stops on the Asakusa and Keikyu lines, are denoted on signboards by an aircraft icon.


Airport Limousine bus

There are regular bus services to the Tokyo City Air Terminal in 55 minutes, and major hotels and railway stations in the Greater Tokyo Area in 35–120 minutes. These are often slower than the trains because of traffic jams. The chief operator of these services is Airport Transport Service under the "Friendly Airport Limousine" brand. Other operators include Keisei Bus, Chiba Kotsu and Narita Kuko Kotsu.

There is also overnight bus service to Kyoto and Osaka. Buses also travel to nearby US military bases, including Yokosuka Navy Base and Yokota Air Base.


Fixed rate taxi service to Tokyo, Kawasaki, Yokohama is available. 14,000 yen – 28,600 yen (expressway tolls 2,250 yen – 2,850 yen are not included in the fixed fare, and need to be paid as a surcharge). Operated by Narita International Airport Taxi Council Members.

The main road link to Narita Airport is the Higashi-Kanto Expressway, which connects to the Shuto Expressway network at Funabashi, Chiba.


Helicopter service from Narita to Ark Hills building complex in near Roppongi in 35 minutes. 37,500 yen (roundtrip) – 45,000 yen (one way) per one person. Operated by Mori Building City Air Service

Japan Airlines offers this helicopter service for first class passengers as well as business class passengers traveling on full fare, Business Saver, or Business Saver 14 tickets. For travelers returning from the mainland US or Europe.

Cultural references

  • Narita Airport was mentioned in an episode of Death Note in which Light's father departs from on a hijacked 747 that lands in the desert of the United States.
  • Narita Airport was the setting of a Japanese television drama Stewardess Story which is about Japan Air Lines crews life and mainly tells a cabin attendant life, starred by Chiemi Hori, Morio Kazama.
  • Narita Airport was the setting of a Japanese television drama Good Luck!! which is about All Nippon Airways crews life and mainly tells a co-pilot life, starred by Takuya Kimura, Shinichi Tsutsumi, and Kou Shibasaki.
  • Narita Airport is one of the airports featured in Air Traffic Controller by TechnoBrain.
  • Narita Airport is depicted in "Returning Japanese", an episode of American sitcom King of the Hill.
  • Narita Airport is the namesake of the song "Welcome to Narita" by Textual.
  • In Japanese, the term "Narita divorce" (成田離婚 Narita rikon) is often used to refer to divorces that immediately follow a married couple's honeymoon, since many married couples return to Japan through Narita after honeymoons in foreign countries. The phrase was used as the title of a popular television drama in Japan.
  • Canadian country singer Aaron Lines song, "I Haven't Even Heard You Cry" includes a voice welcoming passengers to the airport.

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General Info
Country Japan
Time UTC+9
Latitude 35.764722
35° 45' 53.00" N
Longitude 140.386389
140° 23' 11.00" E
Elevation 141 feet
43 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 007° W (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Near City Tokyo
Island Group Honshu I
International Clearance Status Airport of Entry

TWR 118.2
RAMP 121.6
GND 121.95
DEP 124.2
CLNC DEL 121.9
ATIS 128.25
APP 124.4

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
16R/34L 13123 x 196 feet
4000 x 60 meters
16L/34R 7152 x 196 feet
2180 x 60 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
VOR-DME TYE SAKURA 074X 112.7 6.1 NM 107.5

Fuel Jet fuel avaiable but type is unknown.

CAUTION WIP. Arr acft to trml or maint apn areas will not proceed into the area wo apvl fr NARITA RAMP CON. Nose in prk sys is aligned with the left pilots seat only, in case of sys failure nose-in posn shall be guided by signalman. Dep acft fr trml or maint apn areas will not proceed onto twy wo clnc fr ATC. All acft ldg Rwy 34L/R, safety perms, compl gear-down prior to 14 DME fr NRE VOR-DME for Rwy 34L,15 DME fr HKE VOR-DME for Rwy 34R.
LGT CAT III PALS Rwy 16R. Portable lgt secd pwr avbl with 15 sec max switch-over time. PAPI Rwy 16R-34L MEHT 67', PAPI Rwy 16L-34R MEHT 59'.
MISC Acft eng gnd run-up ctl by arpt reg. Rwys grooved.
RSTD Until 1400Z 28 Oct 06, Rwy 16L-34R clsd dly btn 2100 -2130Z and 1300-1400Z exc emerg.

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