Business Aviation Trip Planning: Tokyo International Conference on African Development

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Ops Alert: High-traffic events impacting Tokyo

Beginning in August 2019 and extending into the 2020 Tokyo Olympics will be an extreme high-traffic period for business aviation in Tokyo and Japan. Some of the upcoming high-traffic events include:

Universal Aviation Japan can answer your operational questions and help you navigate this busy period.


The 7th Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD) takes place August 28-30, 2019 in Yokohama, west of Tokyo. More than just a conference, TICAD has become a major global framework for Asia and Africa to collaborate in promoting Africa’s development. Although there are no specific restructions in place for TICAD, due to increased demand for aircraft parking and hotel accommodations during the conference period, business aircraft operators traveling to the Tokyo/Yokohama area need to act without delay in order to secure the most preferred options. Here’s an overview of what you should know:

1. About TICAD

The government of Japan has been leading this conference since 1993, co-hosted by United Nations, United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), World Bank and African Union Commission (AUC).You can also follow the event’s official social media channels:

2. Airports

There are two airport options for this conference – Haneda (RJTT) and Narita (RJAA). Both airports – but particularly RJTT – are expected to be very congested from one to two days prior to the event and up to five days following the conference. The Japanese government expects more than 20+ state aircraft. CAA has not put any restrictions in place at this time for non-conference general aviation flights. These flights will be accepted based on availability of slots and will be allowed a max parking duration of five days. Each parking spot at RJTT can accept up to a G650ER and Global 7000. There are three spots available for aircraft larger than G650ER and Global 7000. Note that no aircraft parking limitations, based on aircraft size, will be imposed at RJAA during the conference period. For that reason, it’s recommended that operators traveling to Tokyo, and not attending this event, operate to RJAA. Click here to read more about operating to Tokyo.

3. Slots and restrictions

Airport slots and confirmations will not be affected by the TICAD event, and no Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs) are anticipated to be issued regarding imposed airport restrictions. Airport closures at RJTT and RJAA are not anticipated due to state and diplomatic flight arrivals and departures. For many operators, however, the preferred option may be to operate to RJAA where no special parking restrictions will be implemented.

4. Parking

If operating to RJTT as a “conference-related” GA flight, you should request permits/airport slots via your embassy, consulate or official government office in Japan. This requires providing full aircraft and operational information, details on crew members and onboard VVIP passengers, as well as the planned ICAO route with entry/exit points to/from Japan FIR.

5. Preferred hotel options are limited

At this point, almost all four – and above star hotels are sold out in both the Yokohama and Tokyo areas. If you’re planning an operation to this area during the time of TICAD, try to reserve accommodations immediately. Due to the sold-out status of most 4- and 5-star hotels, you may have to consider downgrading to 3-star accommodations or, alternatively, staying outside the Tokyo area.

6. Security and other tips

Be advised that general security precautions will be strengthened in the Yokohama/Tokyo area during the period of the conference. It’s recommended that you always carry your passport whenever leaving the hotel and avoid approaching or touching any item that may seem suspicious. If you have concerns about even the smallest issues – security-related or otherwise – do not hesitate to contact your ground handler.

7. Additional information

For more information on operating to Tokyo, click here.

Conclusion

Be prepared for parking restrictions/limitations in place at RJTT, from about August 26th through about September 5th due to TICAD-related GA activity. Particularly for short-notice or last-minute trips to the Tokyo/Yokohama area during the TICAD period, it’s important to begin working with your 3rd-party provider and ground handler as soon as possible.


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