Japan's Key Int'l Airport Proposes Landing Fee Cuts

TOKYO (AP) -- Tokyo's international airport proposed Thursday to cut landing fees amid continuing criticism that Japan's capital airport is too expensive.

Narita airport has sent its proposal to the International Air Transport Association, the Geneva-based organization representing 265 global airlines, both the organization and the airport said.

IATA spokesman Anthony Concil said the organization welcomed the proposal but had no immediate comment, although he noted that other fees at the airport are being raised. The proposal is complex and needs analysis to determine its impact on airlines before IATA comments, he said.

Narita said in a statement it is proposing to cut the current landing fee, now at 2,400 yen (US$22; euro18) a ton, to between 1,650 yen (US$15; euro12) and 2,150 yen (US$20; euro16) a ton, depending on the noise-level of the planes, to encourage more carriers to use quieter jets.

Criticism of Narita's notoriously high landing fees has come not just from overseas. Domestic business groups, airlines and some politicians have said they have harmed Japan's efforts to achieve stable economic growth and attract foreign investment.

In the past, IATA has said that while Narita's landing fees are far higher than at other airports - four times Singapore's airport and more than double Hong Kong's - it also says the cost of living and exchange rates must be taken into consideration.