Photo/IllutrationHaneda Airport in Tokyo Bay will increase its arrival and departure slots from 60,000 to 99,000 per year by 2020 when the city hosts the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

Air travel between Japan and the United States will become more convenient by the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics, with about half of new slots at Haneda Airport allotted to flights between the two countries.

The arrival and departure slots at Haneda Airport in Tokyo Bay, now totaling 60,000 per year, will increase to 99,000 by 2020. That accounts for about 50 additional new international flights per day.

Transport minister Keiichi Ishii said at a news conference after a Cabinet meeting on Feb. 12 that 24 of the new flights will be allocated to Japan-U.S. routes. Twelve will be divided among Japanese airlines and the other 12 will be allocated to U.S. airlines.

“The newly increased arrival and departure slots will be utilized to boost the number of foreign visitors and strengthen international competitiveness,” Ishii said.

The ministry will make future distribution of arrival and departure slots based on these objectives and will attempt to obtain consent from related local governments affected by the increased air traffic, according to Ishii.