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Itami Airport Terminal Building Renovation

Itami Airport Terminal Building Renovation

Old Dec 24, 20, 9:15 am
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Itami Airport Terminal Building Renovation

Yes, this is little old news. The renovation of Itami Airport (Osaka) terminal building was completed past August.

The current terminal buidling of Itami Airport was constructed on 1969, to conincide with 1970 Osaka Expo, world fair. The age of the terminal bulding reaching 50 years plan was to undergo complete renovation of Itami Airport terminal building. The renovation started on 2016 and the renovation was completed this year and on August 5 there was grand reopening ceremony of Itami Airport terminal buidling.

Basic arrengement of the terminal remained same, North Terminal remain primary JAL and South Terminal remain primaiary ANA. The big difference for passenger experience is that after the passenger security at both North Temrinal and South Terminal, passengers has to walk through the shopping area before reaching to gate area. I have seen such setting a lot at airports in Europe, but Itami Airport supposed to be first airport in Japan to adopted such terminal setting.

I know such setting has mixed review, some passengers like the arrangement, some passengers can care less, then some passengers would like to reach the gate area with minimal walking distance. Side note, circular terminal building of DFW Airport build in '70s had the design concept of minimal walking distance from check-in to the gare area.

Considering Omiyage culture of Japan more passengers may find such setting more usuful than nuisance. We will see such airport terminal setting will catch up in Japan or not.
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Old Dec 24, 20, 4:38 pm
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I wonder how much time Japanese domestic travelers (leisure vs business) spend at ITM before boarding and if this will impede the entrance flow? I imagine putting an entire section of shopping like this directly in the entrance path of a major Shinkansen stop would slow down their throughput and people would get frustrated trying to dodge the shoppers.

Outgoing business travelers at Itami probably appreciate the proximity, transit options, and more efficient security-> gate. I would guess the other style of European Schengen airport shopping with order before outbound flight, pickup at arrivals would work if they offer decent deals on similar items (Alcohol, tobacco, perfume, small luxury goods).

OTOH, CTS has a lot of attached shopping and amenities which does pretty well with the leisure market, especially since there is also a healthy rental car supply for people who prefer to drive themselves and ski shuttles who still need to purchase omiyage, personal souvenirs, and meibetsu. I imagine this kind of setup would be quite profitable in OKA, too. I don't know why some of Japan's domestic LCC terminals hadn't adopted this prior to COVID-19 shutting down most international tourism, other than leisure LCC passengers trying to avoid luggage fees with carry-ons & not having any more onboard bag allowances.

Last edited by freecia; Dec 24, 20 at 5:42 pm
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Old Dec 24, 20, 4:39 pm
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Will be interested to see how it is. I just remember walking what seemed like forever around temporary detours from where the airport bus dropped off to the check-in counters. Balancing a large cardboard box atop a rollaboard made it seem longer than it probably was.
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Old Dec 25, 20, 12:10 am
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ITM has been my "home" airport for nearly three decades. For years it didn't change and felt frozen in the 1970s. You could literally walk in the door 30 minutes before departure and catch your flight with time to spare. If you had a domestic flight with a change to an international flight in Tokyo, then maybe 40 minutes. Haven't departed from there for a while, but arrived there a few times recently. Now, you exit baggage claim/terminal area on the second floor. If you have bags on a cart, it's a hassle to get to the first floor or over to the parking garage. In old days, exit was on first floor about 20 seconds from the street. Still though, a convenient airport all in all in my opinion.

Kobe airport is wonderful. Get off the monorail and walk onto the plane. Feels more like a train station than an airport.
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Old Dec 25, 20, 6:50 pm
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I went there last week to purchase Aged Whiskey KitKat which is only available at KitKat Chocolatory retailers. All of them have closed except the one that was opened at the Itami Airport gift gauntlet.

I just liked the fact that the whole building finally has a bit of color and warmth. It was very sterile before.
I am also very happy that the construction is finished.
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Old Dec 25, 20, 9:24 pm
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Originally Posted by Taiwaned View Post
I went there last week to purchase Aged Whiskey KitKat which is only available at KitKat Chocolatory retailers. All of them have closed except the one that was opened at the Itami Airport gift gauntlet.
Ah ha! I wonder if I can talk my son into going there... or maybe just need to go myself. Hoping to grab some for New Year holiday treats.
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