Kansai Airport Reopens Terminal 1

Kansai airport reopens Terminal 1

The operator of typhoon-hit Kansai International Airport in Japan has reopened part of its main passenger facility, Terminal 1. More than 120 flights will be handled at the terminal on Friday.

Terminal 2 resumed service last Friday using Runway B. The building mainly hosts operations for budget airlines. Storm surges caused by Typhoon Jebi largely spared that terminal even though most of the airport was flooded on September 4th.

But Terminal 1, which is used by a greater number of airlines, remained closed due to a power outage caused by the flooding.

The South Wing of Terminal 1 reopened on Friday. Passengers began to show up at the airport from around 6 AM.

A man who was heading back to the Tokyo area from neighboring Wakayama Prefecture welcomed news of the reopening. He said media reports of severe damage to the airport had led him to believe that even partial restoration of service would be a slow process. He added he hopes the airport will be restored fully.

122 flights -- 39 domestic and 83 international -- are expected to use Terminal 1 on Friday. A flight to Tokyo's Haneda airport was the first to leave the terminal around 7 AM.

The operator says it expects to get Terminal 1 fully up and running by reopening its North Wing on Friday of next week. The firm also hopes to resume operation of the railway linking the man-made island airport to the mainland the same day.

The road-rail access bridge to the airport was heavily damaged when the typhoon swept a tanker into it. Only some untouched road lanes are currently available for use.

And in a related development, the authorities and airport operators have agreed to redirect up to 70 flights per day to nearby Osaka International Airport in Itami and Kobe Airport.