Yoshiyuki Yamaya, president of Kansai Airports, has revealed in interviews with the Japanese media that his firm is planning an additional 1 billion yen (about US$910 million) in investment to prepare Kansai International Airport for the 2025 World Expo and the anticipated opening of an IR at Yumeshima.
“Looking forward to the 2025 Expo, we would like to strengthen the functions of Kansai International Airport,” Yamaya explained, “While we usually invest about 20 billion yen (about US$182 million) annually in the airport, we are contemplating an additional investment of close to 1 billion yen before 2025. If this is carried out effectively, it could result in an annual increase of 10 million passengers.”
Speaking of Yumeshima development, Yamaya said, “The need for boats is rising. There is an idea to connect Kansai International Airport and Yumeshima by a boat service. Personally, I’d like to see this be a mini-cruise that provides an extraordinary sense of enjoyment.”
Yamaya also sees a potential advantage in the VIP market: “It is thought that some rich people might arrive at Kansai International Airport or Kobe Airport by private jet and then move around by helicopter. There may be a business chance for us in terms of usage fees.”
Much of the additional investment will likely go toward strengthening Kansai International Airport’s ability to cope with natural disasters such as Typhoon Jebi, which temporarily shut down the airport last September. Another portion is expected to toward the repair and improvement of the terminals.
Opened in 1994 on a manmade island, Kansai International Airport is the third-busiest in Japan, serving more than 28 million passengers. (AGB Nippon)