Photo/IllutrationPassengers arrive from the first international flight after Kansai International Airport resumed operations in Terminal 1 on the morning of Sept. 14. (Masatomo Ono)

  • Photo/Illustraion
  • Photo/Illustraion

Operations partially resumed at Kansai International Airport's Terminal 1 on Sept. 14 for the first time in 10 days, after being flooded during Typhoon No. 21.

The first passenger plane to depart from the terminal was an All Nippon Airways Co. flight bound for Haneda Airport, which took off at 7 a.m.

Hayato Inoue, 21, a college senior from Izumi, Osaka Prefecture, was on an overnight trip to Tokyo for sightseeing with his friend.

“It is really good that the operations resumed, as we were worried that the flight might be canceled," Inoue said. "We want to enjoy the trip.”

The terminal had been closed since Sept. 4 after being inundated with floodwater from the high waves in the storm.

The first runway, which had been submerged, also reopened on Sept. 14.

Kansai International Airport, a gateway to western Japan, will return to normal operations, with some exceptions, on Sept. 21.

The southern area of Terminal 1 basically resumed operations on Sept. 14, and the northern area, where a power blackout continues, is expected to reopen on Sept. 21.

West Japan Railway Co. and Nankai Electric Railway Co., which connect the offshore airport with the city center, are expected to resume operations the same day.

Still, the access bridge to the airport, part of which was severely damaged when hit by a drifting tanker in the storm, remains closed, except for buses and vehicles engaged in reconstruction efforts.

The damaged bridge girders are scheduled to have been removed by the end of Sept. 14.

The airport's international cargo area, which had been submerged, also remains closed.

Gabriele Lonigro, 26, and his wife, Giorgia Mezzogori, 22, were on the first international flight to Terminal 1 on Sept. 14.

The Italian couple, on their honeymoon, said that they are very happy to arrive in Japan because they heard a lot of news reports in Italy about the typhoon in Japan.

Operator Kansai Airports said that 79 international and 36 domestic passenger flights will have taken off or arrived at Terminal 1 by the end of Sept. 14.

If the number of flights at Terminal 2, which resumed operations on Sept. 7, is added, more than 40 percent of the regular scheduled flights at the airport will be back in service.

(This article was written by Masatomo Ono and Yasufumi Kado.)