Nagasaki Airport: The Worlds First Seadrome

Nagasaki Airport (長崎空港) opened as the world’s first authentic seadrome on May 1, 1975. Located on Minoshima Island it floats almost in the centre of Omura Bay in Nagasaki Prefecture.

“Omura Airport” opened in 1955 on the same location that had been used as an airport by the old naval forces from the Taisho Era, and therefore a new airport was badly needed as the demand for airlines increased rapidly and the size of the individual aircraft had become larger. In March 1969 at the Nagasaki prefectural assembly, governor Katsuya Sato announced that Minoshima Island in Omura Bay was a strong candidate for the site of the new Omura Airport. However, the inhabitants of the island and fishermen were opposed to it, and subsequently the project for the new Omura airport ran into trouble.

The following year in 1970, hearing the story of Minoshima Island moved the new governor Kanichi Kubo.  Although he tried to go ahead with the plan, the project faced more adversity when the governor got dead drunk and fell asleep, leaving the memo with the individual compensation amounts out for everyone to see. Kanichi Kubo went through hardship by allowing others to know the compensation amounts, however he remedied this by visiting the island for the 13th time.

The construction started in January 1972 and three years later the new airport was opened. The airports’ name was changed to Nagasaki Airport
It is the real first seadrome in the world whose aim is to be a model airport without pollution.
Regular service from Nagasaki to Shanghai was opened in September 1979 with this being the first step towards Nagasaki Airport becoming an international airport. Afterwards, the runway was expanded to 3,000m and regular flights to Korea went into service in December 1988.

Extensions to the domestic and international flight terminals have been carried out repeatedly to become what it is today.
In 1990, the supersonic passenger airplane “Concorde” built by Anglo-French joint development landed as a part of “Travel Exposition ’90 – Nagasaki”. 
It is one of the very few airports in Japan where the Concorde landed.