Japan Hopes To Open Sendai For Relief Flights


By Bradley Perrett perrett@aviationweek.com 
The Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau hopes to open Sendai airport to relief flights within a day or two, now that floodwater has largely drained from the field.

Work crews have begun the huge job of clearing mud that the March 11 tsunami dumped on the runway, says an official with the bureau’s safety and security division. But until the mud is cleared they will not know whether the preceding earthquake has deformed the runway so badly that it cannot be used, says the official.

“We do not know the condition of the airport’s refueling system or the navigation system,” he says.

“The terminal and the access railway and roadway have received terrible damage and cannot be used.”

Only relief flights can be considered. Early helicopter access is a possibility.

Sendai is the only Japanese airport that remains closed, says the bureau.

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