New Chitose Airport develops quarantine system to accept flights from China and Korea, but no airlines have flights scheduled

Supplies prepared for the resumption of services lined up in front of quarantine booths at New Chitose Airport International Terminal

As of December 21, last year, it became possible for New Chitose Airport to accept the arrival of passenger flights from China and Korea. The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism judged Covid-19 virus quarantine preparations to be ready at New Chitose Airport, after passing similar judgements at airports outside Hokkaido – at Chubu International Airport and Fukuoka Airport – in November. However, unlike both those airports, to which scheduled flights to and from Korea resumed immediately, as of the 21st, no airlines are scheduled to resume flights in and out of New Chitose Airport. As use by tourists is not allowed, it looks like being quite a while before international passenger flights return there.
 Table, anti-droplet screens, tents to isolate those with a fever and those who test positive, and other supplies aimed at reopening are packed into a narrow space in front of the. “Its possible to do the antigen tests of 100 people in one go. Since September we have done many training drills so everything is ready,” said one representative proudly.
 In order to strengthen border measures, in March the government limited arrivals from China and Korea to just two airports – Narita and Kansai. Subsequently, emphasis was put on resuming economic activity and the number of airports accepting incoming flights increased. With quarantine preparations complete, permission to resume flights was given at Chubu International Airport on November 1, and at Fukuoka Airport on November 17. Subsequently, flights to and from Incheon in Korea have resumed. The testing system has also been relaxed from November, with passengers arriving from China and Korea, in principle, not required to undergo testing for infection.
 The preparations at New Chitose also include the introduction of antigen testing and a hotel where those who test positive can be isolated. With regard to resumption of flights, a representative of Korea’s Asiana Airlines said “Before the Coronavirus pandemic, over 80% of passengers were tourists. We will research the demands of business but it will take time, and even if extra flights were to be resumed it would take 2 or 3 three months.” Korean Air were also cautious, saying “We hope to prepare for resumption after ascertaining the demand.”


New Chitose Airport International Terminal