The city is renovating its main terminal with the goal of increasing international visitor capacity by more than 70%
Japan.- Although it is not defined that an IR is going to be develop in Osaka, Kansai International Airport is preparing for World Expo 2025. The city is renovating its main terminal with the goal of increasing international visitor capacity by more than 70% to about 40 million.
In 2018, the airport accommodate more than 22 million international travelers. The visitors can increase a lot if Osaka gets one of the three licences to build a casino resort that Japan government will decide next year.
The total renovation cost is expected to be around JPY100 billion (US$920 million), including disaster prevention measures. Construction will start in 2020, mainly in the second floor. Departing foreign visitors who have gone through security will walk through duty-free shopping toward eateries, lounges and enlarged commercial facilities, giving them more souvenirs to choose from.
Kansai Airport was built in 1994 with the idea of having the same amount of domestic and international flights. But the foreign tourism increase a lot and the number of international flight passengers is now four times that of domestic travelers, almost 70% of the total.
CEO Yoshiyuki Yamaya says the airport is consider a gateway for travelers visiting Japan and they need to improve its facilities before the Expo starts to avoid congestion.
“There will need to be an expansion of ground facilities and an easing of restrictions on hourly takeoffs and landings,” he said. Osaka is one of the cities that lead the IR race in Japan. It already confirmed its partner for their request for proposal (RFP) process (MGM Resorts) and dreams to have the IR before Expo 2025.