JAL Plan for Domestic Late Night Cargo Flights Postponed
Tokyo, Friday July 1: Japan Airlines has decided to postpone indefinitely the launch of scheduled late night domestic air cargo flights between Tokyo and Kumamoto in central Kyushu, following objections by local residents over aircraft noise.
The flights were planned to start from July 7, initially on a three nights per week basis, increasing to daily flights from November.
After revising the flight schedule to further reduce disturbance, JAL intends to continue to seek the local community's acceptance of the new service, which has the support of many local businesses. Farmers, growers of fruit and vegetables and seafood producers in the southern Kyushu region see the new flights as a major business opportunity and a boost for the local economy.
There is no new date set for the start of the service but JAL hopes that the issue can be settled as soon as possible.
Initially, JAL had planned to use Airbus 300-600R aircraft because of the aircraft's low noise rating, in consideration of residents near the airport.
To further minimize noise disturbance, the flights had been timed to arrive at Kumamoto as early as possible and to depart for Tokyo as late as possible. JAL had announced that crews would make maximum use of noise abatement procedures, such as refraining from using reverse thrust on landing as much as possible. Other measures included reduced power landing approaches and selected take-off patterns to reduce the flight noise imprint on the ground. In preparation for the cargo flights, in February JAL made test-flights to assess night noise effects in the Kumamoto Airport area.
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