Japan's transport ministry has officially decided to introduce new flight routes to and from Tokyo's Haneda Airport to start March 29 next year.
The launch of the routes that will pass over central Tokyo is aimed at allowing more international flights at Haneda ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics.
Transport minister Keiichi Ishii told reporters on Thursday that relevant municipalities have expressed understanding of the need to enhance the airport's capability. He said he will continue to listen closely to their requests.
He said operation of the new routes will begin on March 29, the start of the summer schedule for international flights.
With the new flight paths, the government plans to increase the number of international landings and takeoffs at Haneda from the current 60,000 to 99,000.
Residents in areas under the new flight paths have been voicing concerns over noise and the possibility of objects falling from planes.
Ishii said the ministry will take measures against noise and falling objects, and provide necessary information to win understanding from as many people as possible.
The ministry must negotiate with airlines on how to allot the extra Haneda slots and carry out test flights to check the safety of the new routes before they officially open.