Naha Airport to install enclosed pedestrian bridge between terminals
August 7, 2015 Ayako Sakaguchi of Ryukyu Shimpo
Naha Airport Building Co. Ltd. (NABCO) and Okinawa Prefecture will build a covered pedestrian bridge to connect the Domestic Terminal and the International Terminal. They aim for it to be open by June 2016. Currently, there is no sheltered access aisle to shield customers from sun or rain, and many tourists have complained that they their suitcases could get wet.
After receiving complaints from customers, NABCO began a free bus service operating between the Domestic and the International terminals in May 2014, and started distributing plastic covers for baggage carts in May 2015. NABCO expects that the installation of the pedestrian bridge will solve the inconvenience and improve tourists’ satisfaction.
The construction of the bridge begins this month on the second floor of terminal buildings. To enhance convenience, the bridge will also be connected to a new parking structure, which is currently being built, and the tourist bus station.
The Prefectural Government is subsidizing approximately 742.5 million yen of the total project cost.
There is also a plan for the construction of a terminal building connecting the Domestic and the International buildings. NABCO executive stated, “We need to come up with solutions for the inconvenience that tourists experience.
In 2014, 7,169,900 tourists entered the Okinawa region, which is 9.0 percent more than the previous year. The number of foreign tourists was a record high of 986,000, which is 57.2 percent more than the last year. With the growth in tourist numbers, some problems have been pointed out such as the small size of the International Terminal and its distance from parking lots.
(English translation by T&CT and Megumi Chibana)
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