yakushima airport questionnaire

The current Yakushima Airport has a runway length of 1,500 metres. The short distance of the runway means that only propeller aircraft are able to operate in and out of Yakushima. There are flights from Kagoshima, Fukuoka and Osaka. There are no flights from Tokyo because the fuel capacity of propeller aircraft cannot travel this distance.

Members of the current Yakushima Town Council would like to extend the runway of Yakushima Airport to 2,000 metres so that jet aircraft could operate in and out of Yakushima. They propose to commence flights from Tokyo and possibly other East Asian destinations.

YES are interested to know of the views of future and past visitors to Yakushima regarding the proposed extension of the runway and the introduction of jet aircraft.

Points FOR the proposal

  • Convenient for visitors traveling from Kanto (Tokyo) and potentially from East Asia. Currently, Kanto visitors would fly to Kagoshima and then transfer to a propeller aircraft for a 30 minute flight to Yakushima. Direct flights may save 1 – 2 hours.
  • The convenience of flying directly to Yakushima may increase tourism and help local businesses.

Points AGAINST the proposal

  • Increase of noise and carbon pollution. The propeller aircraft currently operating can be heard from up to about 2km from the airport. Jet aircraft generate a noise well beyond this 2km range. Yakushima has a CO2-free target and encouraging jet aircraft to Yakushima is contrary to this CO2-free policy.
  • An increase in tourism may appear attractive but it would add a greater strain on environmental maintenance and de-value the merits of Yakushima.

About the Yakushima Questionnaire

YES would like to gather as much data as possible regarding the opinions of visitors to Yakushima. People who visit our island clearly have an interest in the island and we wish to gather opinions from previous visitors as well as future visitors. If we receive a large response to the Yakushima Airport Questionnaire then we would be encouraged to hand the data to the Yakushima Town Council for their consideration.