Business Aircraft Ops to Japan: Understanding Costs & Fees

> | March 24, 2016 | 0 Comments

Business Aircraft Ops to Japan: Understanding Costs & Fees

This is a post by author Hiroshi Higashiyama. Hiroshi is representative director for Universal Aviation Japan, which has aircraft ground handling facilities in Haneda, Narita, Sapporo, and Osaka. Hiroshi is an expert on business aircraft operations in Japan and can be contacted at

This aviation blog post is part of a series on operating to Japan and continues from our last article entitled “Business Aircraft Ops to Japan: CIQ.

While handling costs and airport fees in Japan are higher compared to many other destinations, services are reliable, predictable, and of top quality. Advance cost quotes are available upon request.

The following is an overview of what you need to know:

1. Ground handling fees

Handling fees are normally based on type and size of aircraft and are itemized in terms of services used. For example, you’ll pay an aircraft marshaling fee plus fees for chock and wing walker services as well as crew/passenger escorts, lav/water/trash and towing. These charges can be covered on credit by your ground handler and billed to your account later.

2. Airport charges

On arrival in Japan you’ll pay landing fees and parking fees along with assorted government/airport charges. You’ll also pay navigation fees based on the aircraft’s maximum takeoff weight (MTOW). Nav fees for domestic operations are based on distance and payable upon landing. Note that landing fees differ depending on the airport and are assessed in different ways. Landing fees are usually based on MTOW but may also be impacted by approach and takeoff noise levels, as per your aircraft noise certificate. Be mindful that Stage 2 aircraft operations are not permitted in Japan. Parking fees are usually determined on MTOW but may vary depending on aircraft wingspan and/or time on the ground. Some airports let you park up to six hours at no charge while others start billing for parking as soon as you arrive.

3. In-flight catering costs

In-flight catering is available at many larger airports. However, be aware that at many smaller airports very high delivery charges may be associated with general aviation (GA) catering. In-flight catering menus are offered for clients operating to Haneda (RJTT), Narita (RJAA), Kansai (RJBB), Nagoya (RJNA), Chubu (RJGG) and Sapporo (RJCC) but are not offered at other locations. At locations where in-flight catering is not possible, your ground handler will assist in obtaining catering from local hotels/restaurants and bringing it through security.

4. Cost estimates

Upon request, your ground handler will provide cost estimates for all handling, airport, and 3rd-party service charges. 24 hours advance notification is recommended in order to assemble accurate cost estimates. This is because each airport has different charges, and in some cases, these must be re-verified by your handler.

5. Additional reading: Operating to Japan – Series Index

Note: Links will be updated as articles are published.


Be aware of the different costs for services when operating to Japan. Your ground handler will be more than willing to provide credit for all of your airport, permit and navigation fees – as well as all 3rd-party services – and invoice this all to you later. Prior arrangement for credit services should be established at least 48 hours prior to operation.

Later we will discuss airport slots for Japan and how it may affect your trip.


If you have any questions about this article or operating to Japan, contact me at


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Hiroshi “Higashi” Higashiyama, representative director of Universal Aviation Japan – Tokyo, has over 17 years of experience in the aviation industry in ground support and operations and is an expert on operating to Japan. Higashi’s expertise has earned him numerous invitations to speak both domestically and internationally at major industry events and conferences such as the National Business Aviation Association Conference. Higashi, who is based in Tokyo, along with the staff of Universal Aviation Japan – Tokyo, provided around-the-clock services for business aviation clients and humanitarian flights operating into Japan following the devastating earthquake and tsunami in 2011. He is also a member of the Japanese Business Aviation Association and works closely with local government officials to help improve business aviation infrastructure, processes, and procedures throughout Japan.

He can be reached at

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