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    EXPO 2005 AICHI
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transper_1pic.gif Centrair (Central Japan International Airport)
A Friendly Passenger Terminal
with a Universal Design

Access infrastructure in the vicinity of the airport island is smoothly taking shape. In one project a bridge to the island for both cars and trains is being built. Work is also going rapidly forward on the road and rail links to the bridge. The road link will cross the Chita Peninsula from the Handa-Tokoname Interchange on the Chita Peninsula Expressway, while the rail link will start at Tokoname Station on the Meitetsu (Nagoya Railroad) Tokoname Line. Two of the bridge’s car lanes were opened to construction vehicles this summer, thus facilitating full-fledged work on the passenger terminal and other facilities.

Centrair, as the Central Japan International Airport has been nicknamed, is to open in 2005. The passenger terminal building is going up even as the airport's artificial island is being formed in Ise Bay three kilometers off the city of Tokoname. Now that the reclamation is nearing completion, interest has shifted to the novel conception of this terminal. The available plans of the completed building indicate that it will be a world-class facility, one thoughtfully conceived down to the finest details.

The first concept that guided the design of Centrair's passenger terminal is “user-friendly.” The flow planning puts arrivals and departures on separate levels, reducing the need for passengers to move between floors. Access paths from the train station, parking lots, and ferry pier will be easy to follow. Not just restrooms but also nursing rooms and other such facilities have been incorporated into the design. Indeed, the thoroughness with which the philosophy of universal design has been applied is truly astonishing. From the basic design stage on, users, consultants, the disabled, and other interested parties were drawn into the process of deciding what to include and where to pay special attention. Transcending the notion of the barrier-free building, this will be a terminal that is universally easy for everybody to use, regardless of age or disability.

"Simple" is the second design concept. Users should have no difficulty figuring out the compact and functional layout, which brings international and domestic arrivals and departures together, each with its own area on the respective arrival and departure levels. With the check-in counters connected by moving walkways to the gates, which are arranged in an inverted T, no passenger will need to walk more than 300 meters to get to his or her flight.

The third design concept is "vibrant." Apart from an observation deck and an area devoted to concessions, there will be a large indoor garden in the Center Pier where arriving and departing passengers can enjoy themselves and where events hosted by local people will take place. Effective use will also be made of nature’s energy, with sunlight providing illumination for large spaces like the check-in lobby and solar power supplying electricity to planes.

Yukihisa Hirano, president of the Central Japan International Airport Co., Ltd., states that the objective is to make this “a high-quality facility not just for people taking flights but also for those who come to the airport for enjoyment.” Without doubt this air hub being given birth right in the middle of Japan will become a major attraction exciting people everywhere.


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