Chitose residents celebrate 70 years since Haneda – Chitose commercial service resumption

Chitose passengers posing for commemorative photograph during the boarding gate departing ceremony
HAC aircraft after the sightseeing flight

To commemorate the milestone of 70 years since commercial aircraft service resumed between Haneda and Chitose after WWII, on October 26 Chitose City spearheaded a sightseeing flight service taking off from and landing at the runway of the old Chitose airfield that predates the modern New Chitose Airport. The day was temporarily beset by poor sky conditions including heavy rainfall, but the approximately 40-minute commemoration flight proved to be immense fun for the 93 Chitose parents, children, and other passengers who won the invite drawing, and who had been looking forward to the opportunity.

At the departing ceremony held at the New Chitose Airport boarding gate, four JALSKY SAPPORO staff members appeared wearing historical Japan Airlines (JAL) cabin crew and ground staff uniforms. The area around the boarding gate displayed items including a 1950s JAL domestic flight timetable and 1960s posters, creating a fun historical atmosphere.

At the ceremony, Mayor Yamaguchi Kotaro remarked, “This is a commemorative day for Chitose City, which has grown together with the airport. I hope it also becomes a commemorative day for all of you as well.” JAL Chitose Airport Branch Director Hayashi Koichi commented, “For JAL as well, this is a milestone in that it marks 70 years since launching Chitose service. We look forward to continuing to provide safe and comfortable air travel.”

According to sources such as New Chitose City History, the first aircraft to fly when service resumed after WWII was the twin-jet passenger plane “Mokusei”. It served as a provisional service for regular flights connecting to Haneda, and landed on the evening of October 26, 1951 at the Chitose airfield currently used by the Japan Air Self-Defense Force. Regarding regular flight service, the airfield competed with Sapporo Airfield One, which was located in the Kita Ward of Sapporo at that time. However, eventually the Chitose airfield was selected due to its superior conditions, including weather factors.


New Chitose Airport