Osaka Airport Aims to Reopen Friday After Typhoon

Kansai International Airport is scheduled to reopen on Friday, days after Typhoon Jebi passed through the airport, cutting off power and bringing heavy winds and floods to Japan’s third-largest airport.

The Typhoon also left about 3,000 passengers stranded at the airport on Wednesday, after an ocean tanker was unmoored by strong winds and crashed into the airport’s bridge to the mainland. The passengers were eventually rescued by ferries and speedboats.

According to the Japanese government, domestic flights will resume on Friday and international flights will restart as soon as the airport is able.

Officials were previously expecting the airport to remain closed for a week because of the heavy damage caused by Typhoon Jeb, particularly to its runways and facilities. The officials promised round-the-clock work to repair damage and make the travel hub ready for passengers.

Kansai Airports CEO Yoshiyuki Yamaya emphasized at a news conference Thursday the reopening would be partial. He said work would be done through the night.

One of the airport’s two runways and part of a terminal building were flooded and the bridge connecting the airport to the mainland was damaged when Typhoon Jebi swept through on Tuesday.

The strongest typhoon to hit Japan in 25 years caused 11 deaths and damage in and around Osaka.

The Kansai airport served 28 million passengers last year. It handles exports of computer chips, electronics parts and other cargo while importing into Japan mostly medical goods.

Other nearby airports are expected to take some of Osaka’s traffic in the meantime — the city’s Gov. Ichiro Matsui said he would ask other airports in Osaka and Kobe to lend a hand while the damage is being repaired. He also said that the government is considering using Itami airport and Kobe airport as substitutes.

(Travel Market Report, US News & World Report)


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