ODB April to July study shows heavy nighttime and foreign burden out of 18,799 Kaenda flights

ODB April to July study shows heavy nighttime and foreign burden out of 18,799 Kaenda flights


September 15, 2017 Ryukyu Shimpo


The Okinawa Defense Bureau (ODB) conducted a study of flight operations at both Futenma Air Station and Kadena Air Base in April through July, observing the bases 24 hours a day.

The results were reported to the governments of Okinawa Prefecture, Ginowan City, and Kadena Town on September 14. The numbers of flight operations (including instances of aircraft performing takeoff, landing, touch-and-go, passing overhead, and circling the base) recorded in the four-month period ending in July were 5,084 at Futenma and 18,799 at Kadena.


At Futenma Air Station, flight operations performed between 10:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m., late night and early morning hours that are restricted by aircraft noise regulation measures in the noise prevention agreement, numbered 224.

Out of these 224 instances, 97 occurrences or 43 percent of the transgressions were MV-22 Osprey vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

At Kadena Air Base, one-third of the takeoffs and landings were foreign aircraft (coming from bases in the United States and overseas).

Through this study the burdens of late night flights and foreign aircraft have been expressed numerically.


The most flight operations to be observed within a month-long period at Futenma Air Station were 1,678 in April alone.

Also, operations conducted at Futenma after 10:00 p.m. numbered 91 in July.

The time slot of 7:00 p.m. until 9:59 p.m., during which Ginowan City and other bodies have requested flight operations be restricted, was subject to 1,081 flights between April and July.


Due to runway maintenance and repair work at Futenma Air Station, fixed-wing aircraft were unable to takeoff and land there as usual throughout the study period, meaning only 37 of foreign incoming flights were recorded.


At Kadena Air Base the monthly flight operation numbers saw an upward trend.

In April there were 3,931 recorded operations, but in June there were 5,283 and in July there were 5,202.


On September 14 at Kantei (the prime minister’s official residence) at a meeting of a working group promoting Futenma Air Station burden reduction, the Okinawa Prefecture and Ginowan City governments made the request to the Japanese government that daily study results also be supplied.


(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)


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