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Yokota shares its sky with Japanese airliners

  • Published
  • By Marine Cpl. Leslie Palmer
  • Air Force Print News
Traveling can be a hectic task, but officials here are helping ease the stress and headaches of today's travelers.

The Road Map to Realignment is a group of initiatives designed to help future operations between U.S. and Japanese forces. One of the initiatives under this agreement is changing Yokota AB's air space to accommodate Japanese airliners.

"There's approximately 190 aircraft that use a route that transitions over Yokota AB air space. So, what we've done is we've created several blocks of air space that we transfer control back and forth between facilities," said Senior Master Sgt. Art Griffenkranz, superintendent of aviation affairs at 5th Air Force here.

"What this does is it reduces the workload between air traffic facilities and enables the aircraft to turn a little bit earlier, climb at a little bit slower rate, which is an economic savings to the airliners and an increase in convenience for general passengers," Sergeant Griffenkranz said.

Saving passengers time and money helped motivate this decision and also builds a good relationship between U.S. and Japanese forces.

"Each flight will save one minute," Sergeant Griffenkranz said. "There are 190 flights on this route; that translates to 70,000 minutes per year. Now, that's a huge economic savings for airliners."

Though this agreement allows the airliners to use Yokota AB air space, it will not adversely affect the mission.

"When we need the air space for recall of our aircraft, we have the ability to call that air space back, so we can meet our military mission requirements," Sergeant Griffenkranz said.