Promoting privatization effect in seven Hokkaido airports. Escalators also considered.

Wakkanai Airport, which may be targeted for upgrades including escalator facilities

Hokkaido Airports (HAP, Chitose) oversees seven Hokkaido airports that have been privatized. It plans to commence airport facility renovation designed to improve user convenience in 2021. In addition to converting Japanese style restroom facilities to Western style formats inside regional airport terminals, HAP also plans other efforts including revising security checkpoint facilities. Though large scale investment is difficult due to decreased revenue from the coronavirus pandemic, HAP plans to generate positive sentiment for the effects of privatization by improving the convenience of airports.

Six airports (Asahikawa, Hakodate, Obihiro, Kushiro, Wakkanai, and Memanbetsu) managed by HAP excluding Shin Chitose have Japanese style restroom facilities. In addition to converting these to Western style facilities in some airports, HAP is also considering simultaneously converting the facilities into multipurpose restrooms that allow users to bring in large items, such as trolley bags. HAP is seriously considering installing escalators in Wakkanai Airport, in northern Hokkaido’s Wakkanai City. Wakkanai Airport is the only building among the seven HAP airports that does not already have escalators.

Furthermore, HAP also plans to revise security checkpoint facilities. In airports that have curved luggage inspection rails, luggage sometimes falls off the rails when the airports are crowded. Thus, in response to many user requests, HAP plans to change the rails to a straight line format.

All renovations are planned to take place in a span of four years starting from the 2021 fiscal year. Target airports and detailed timelines will be determined moving forward. The HAP President stated, “Facility renovations to increase convenience are difficult from a budget perspective, but we want to alleviate user stress as much as we can.”