Challenges up in the sky!


Recently JAL came up with a three-year rehabilitation program according to the Yomiuri Shimbun. The cause for the need to turn around JAL very quickly is that in January of this year the airline had filed for bankruptcy under the Corporate Rehabilitation Law. Now the carrier plans to streamline operations by replacing aircraft and cutting personnel at higher rates than major overseas airlines, therefore aiming to strengthen its business foundation to survive in the global air travel market; the Yomimuri Shimbun sources said.
Of course I am very pleased to see that JAL is setting high targets with focus on departure and arrival slots for international flights for Haneda Airport, where at the end of October a new runway will open up. Having increased international routes of JAL from Haneda to for example San Francisco, Honolulu and Paris sounds truly great, but considering the comments I read from an insider of air traffic management, I become worried about air traffic safety. According to a recent interview of the president of Thales Japan with the Eurobiz magazine, he pointed out that the present Japanese air traffic management equipment is out of date. It seems that most Japanese are not aware that the present air traffic management system is so old that it is getting more and more difficult for planes to land in Tokyo. This becomes very much a safety issue, because the number of runways is not most important, but actually the way the planes are managed in the air.

Brought to you by Sibylle Ito (シビル伊藤).

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