2019 Civil Aviation Symposium

The Future of Civil Aviation in the Asia Pacific Region

Tuesday, October 8th, 2019

Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center

1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW, Washington, DC 20004

Summary of the event


Air passenger transport in the Asia Pacific region has been steadily growing and reached 1.6 billion passengers in 2018. While air passengers in the region have increased, Japan hopes to achieve even greater targets of 40 million foreign visitors in 2020 and 60 million in 2030, and is implementing policies in order to address these increasing aviation demands. One major policy is to enhance the functions of Tokyo metropolitan airports by such measures as reviewing the flight paths to and from Haneda (Tokyo International Airport) and developing a third runway in Narita Airport. Another is to strengthen gateway functions at regional airports through such actions as airport management privatization utilizing the Concessions Method.  

  However, at the same time, the competitive environment for international civil aviation in the Asia Pacific region has drastically changed owing to the enhancement of long-haul direct flights from the U.S. to Asian destinations other than Japan, the construction of mega airports in Asian countries, and the rise of long-haul Low Cost Carriers (LCCs), especially from Southeast Asian countries.

JITTI was pleased to invite experts in international civil aviation from aeronautical authorities and air carriers in Japan and the U.S, as well as an airport operator from Japan, to discuss the future vision and aviation strategies of international civil aviation in the Asia Pacific region.


Read more on the results of the symposium below.

Video, Audio, and Written Records

Opening Remarks


Masafumi Shukuri

Chairman, Japan International Transport and Tourism Institute, USA (JITTI USA)

Chairman, Japan Transport and Tourism Research Institute (JTTRI)

Honorable Guest Remarks


Shinsuke Sugiyama

Ambassador of Japan to the United States


Hugo Yon

Deputy Assistant Secretary, Transportation Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Keynote Speeches


Jotaro Horiuchi

Assistant Vice-Minister for International Aviation, Minister's Secretariat, Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan


David Short

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs, U.S. Department of Transportation


Akihiko Tamura

President & CEO, Narita International Airport Corporation

Panel Discussion



Hirotaka Yamauchi

President for Research, JTTRI​​



Shuichi Fujimura

Executive Officer, Alliances & International Affairs, All Nippon Airways

Robert Wirick

Managing Director, Regulatory and International Affairs, American Airlines

Heather Wingate

Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, Delta Air Lines

Stephen Morrissey

Vice President, Regulatory and Policy, United Airlines


Tadao Nishio

Managing Executive Officer, Corporate Strategy & Planning, Japan Airlines

Tamura- panel.jpg

Akihiko Tamura

President & CEO, Narita International Airport Corporation


Following the opening remarks by Chairman Shukuri, we received honorable guest remarks from Ambassador Sugiyama and DOS Deputy Assistant Secretary Yon. Then, lectures were given on the current status and future prospects of US and Japan civil aviation and airports by MLIT Assistant Vice-Minister Horiuchi, DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary Short, and Narita Airport Corp. President & CEO Tamura.

[Key Points of the Lecture by MLIT Assistant Vice-Minister Jotaro Horiuchi]

  •  Since 2010, the number of air passengers has increased by 35% between Europe and Asia, 42% between Europe and North America, and 62% between North America and Asia. The “Visit Japan Campaign,” which started in 2003, has been contributing to promotional efforts to attract tourists to Japan.

  • Both Haneda and Narita airports are working to expand their functions. In particular, Narita Airport is planning on constructing a third runway, and will see a 60% increase in take-offs/landings by the late 2020s.  If taking into consideration the operations of both airports, it is expected that the number of take-offs/landings will reach about 1 million annually.  Expansions to increase functionality and facility upgrades are also being carried out at airports in various locations such as Kansai, Chubu, Fukuoka and Shin-Chitose.

[Key Points of the Lecture by DOT Deputy Assistant Secretary David Short]

  • US-Japan aviation has a long history, and both parties have continued to remove obstacles by deepening cooperation between the two countries. In 2010, the US-Japan Open Skies Agreement came into effect, and has contributed to a reduction in aviation costs by over 21% and increased the number of inbound and outbound flights by 26%.  An expansion of international flights at Haneda Airport will contribute to the Japanese government’s goal of attracting tourists by connecting those flights with domestic ones throughout Japan.

  • Despite the growth of direct flights to Southeast Asian countries, Tokyo continues to thrive as a gateway.  Operational efficiency is expected to increase due to further privatization and deregulation of the Japanese aviation industry.


[Key Points of the Lecture by Narita Airport Corp. President and CEO Akihiko Tamura]

  • Passenger traffic in Asia is forecasted to grow at an annual rate of above 5% over the next 20 years, many airports in Asia are planning to expand their functions.

  • This means an increased opportunity for air transport services as well as an intensification of competition between airports.  In particular, the LCC market in Northeast Asia has great growth potential.

  • At the same time as Narita Airport is planning on opening its new third runway, it is also scheduled to expand its runways and broaden airport business hours. In addition, Narita Airport has strived to improve customer experiences, introduce face recognition check-ins, and facilitate security lines.


[Panel Discussion Points]
The panelists and moderators discussed topics such as “What is the most crucial strategy for the growth of civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region?”. Opinions were exchanged and a lively discussion was held on the future of international civil aviation in the Asia-Pacific region, including questions from the audience. 

Audience Member.jpg
Wingate Shukuri.jpg
Question 2.jpg
JTTRI Logo.png

JITTI USA was established by

Embassy of Japan.png