February 3, 2021 Ryukyu Shimpo
According to a visual inspection conducted by the Okinawa Defense Bureau starting in April 2017, the number of takeoffs/landings performed by aircraft at U.S. Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Futenma for the year of 2020 was 17,500, the highest number since the inspection began. The number of takeoffs/landings by aircraft stationed at MCAS Futenma reached the highest number ever at 14,850, boosting the total. Aircraft from elsewhere accounted for 2,650 takeoffs/landings.
The total number in 2020 is a 0.6 percent increase from the 2019 total of 17,397 takeoffs/landings, but a 14.6 percent increase from the 2018 total of 15,270. The takeoffs/landings by the aircraft stationed at MCAS Futenma in 2020 is a 2.4 percent increase from the 14,495 takeoffs/landings in 2019, and a 5.3 percent increase from the 14,104 in 2018.
In 2020, the takeoffs/landings by aircraft from elsewhere decreased 8.7 percent from 2902 in 2019, yet increased by 2.3 times from 1166 in 2018. In 2019, one of Kadena Air Base’s two runways was closed for construction, and the number of aircraft from elsewhere flying into MCAS Futenma appeared to increase, but then in 2020, as well, aircraft from elsewhere continued to fly in.
Night flights after 10:00 p.m., restricted by the aircraft noise regulation measures (noise prevention agreement), occurred 334 times in 2020, which is a decrease from 340 in 2019, and a decrease from 705 in 2018.
There were 2,158 takeoffs/landings at MCAS Futenma in December 2020, approximately double the 1066 in November 2020. The takeoffs/landings by aircraft stationed at MCAS Futenma numbered 1891 in December 2020, approximately 2.4 times the 778 in November 2020. The takeoffs/landings by aircraft from elsewhere numbered 267 in December 2020, a 7.3 percent decrease from the 288 in November 2020. Aircraft from elsewhere that performed takeoffs/landings at MCAS Futenma included MV-22 vertical takeoff and landing transport aircraft.
(English translation by T&CT and Erin Jones)