Haneda Airport (Tokyo International)
The Tokyo International Airport services the Greater Tokyo Area and deals mostly with the domestic flights. The name Haneda Airport was given to the Tokyo International Airport after the Narita International Airport was opened. The Narita International Airport was previously known as the New Tokyo International Airport, which caused some confusion. After the opening of Narita, most of Haneda’s international traffic was diverted to the new airport, thus leaving the Tokyo International Airport, concentrating mainly on the domestic traffic. Neverthless, the airport still deals with approximately 60 million passengers annually, and is therefore one of the busiest airports in the world.
The Haneda Airport was opened as the Haneda Aerodrome in 1931, and at the time, it was the biggest civilian airport in Japan. As with many airports during war time, the Haneda Aerodrome became the Haneda Army Air Base in 1945, as an United States military facility. Japan received half the airport back in 1952, which was named the Tokyo International Airport. The entire airport was given back to Japan in the year 1958. During the 1960s, airlines such as Sabena, Cathay Pacific Airways, Pan Am, Air Siam and Swissair began running frequent flights to the Haneda Airport. In 1961 the instrument landing systems were installed on the Haneda Airport runways.
Haneda Airport operates out of three Terminals. Terminal 1 is nicknamed the ‘Big Bird’, and was opened for use in 1993. The new six story building, complete with shopping areas, observation deck, banks, gift shops and other facilities, replaced the older and smaller terminal that was constructed in 1970. In December 2004, the Haneda Airport unveiled Terminal 2, which features a variety of shops, restaurants, market place and an open-air restaurant that is located on the roof. The Haneda Excel Tokyo Hotel is also situated in this amazing six-story structure. Terminal 3 is a much smaller building and is responsible for chartered, international flights that run between Haneda and the Seoul Gimpo Airport. Haneda also takes care of charter flights during the hours that Narita is not open.
Haneda Airport has three runways, which are all paved and are used for both take-off and landings. The 16R/34L is 3000 meters in length, as is the 16L/34R, with the shorter 4/22 runway being 2 500 meters in length. Transport to and from the Haneda Airport, or Tokyo International Airport, is serviced by the railway service, monorail service and buses.