The Chubu Centrair International Airport (中部国際空港セントレア Chūbu Kokusai Kūkō Sentorea, NGO), or more commonly called Centrair, offers a tour service through the airport called “Centrair Maruwakari Tours” (セントレアまるわかりツアー). This tour service has two different routes. In the first one, you can visit the airport terminal, and in the second one you can visit the airfield. In this article I’m going to explain how is the Airport’s airfield Tour.
This tour is a complete guided tour by sightseeing tourist bus through the airfield and the surrounding facilities. You will be given a detailed explanation of each area, as well as other very interesting information.
The meeting point is located on the 1st floor of the passenger terminal, near the Capsule Hotel TUBE Sq. There the tour staff and the rest of the participants will be waiting for the tour to start.
Before starting the tour, first of all you have to pass the security controls. Don’t forget that you are going to visit areas that are restricted, so unless you are part of the staff or the tour, entry is not allowed. Once past the security controls, the real tour will start!!
1. Cargo aircraft Area
The tour begins going through the cargo aircraft area. Airports, not only transports people, they also transport cargo day and night. Cargo airlines often have their own local and adjacent infrastructure to transfer cargo and goods between land and air, companies such as ANA Cargo or JAL Cargo.
The cargo areas are divided into three different areas: export, import and transshipment. The cargo export facilities are areas where the cargo is stored after customs clearance and before loading to the aircraft. Similarly, the cargo import facilities are areas where the cargo is stored, after passing through customs and before they are collected to be delivered to the recipients. The transshipment zone is where the cargo, coming from foreign countries, is stored before being sent to other countries or other national airports.
2. Business Jet Area
After passing the cargo area, you get to the area of private jets or Business Jet. This is an area in which operate differents private charter and private helicopter companies.
*This is a private area and it’s not allowed to take pictures of private jet companies.
3. Coast Guard Air Station
The Coast Guard Air Station (JCG 海上保安部) is located near the Business Jet Area. For its aeronautical operations, it owns two Agusta type AW139 helicopters. Just the day that the Kawaii Aichi team participated in the tour, some members of the coast guard left the hangar to dedicate us a greeting.
4. Domestic boarding bridges and the runway lights
Further on, in the north wing of the aerodrome, you pass through the domestic boarding bridges area.
A little further on are the runway lights. The tour guide explains here very interesting information about the lights located on the runway.
Airports use standardized lighting schemes to ensure that pilots can differentiate runways from roads when they land at night or with poor visibility. The rotating beacon lights, which flash green and white, indicate a civil airport. Green lights mark the threshold or start of a track. While the red lights mark the end of the runway. Along the length of the runway, white or amber lights define the edges. And the blue lights differentiate the taxiway from the runway.
5. Plane spotting Area (Photo Spot)
Next you get off the bus and enter the Plane spotting area, a safe area located in the center of the runway. From this area you can see from very close the planes take off and land. Commercial aircraft, passenger planes, training aircraft … The guide announces the different planes that enter and leave the runway. This is an amazing experience!! and from where you have the opportunity to take very incredible pictures. The length of stay in this area is 10 to 15 minutes.
6. View from the Ise Bay and bridge
Back to the bus, we continue the visit, but this time we go to the other corner of the airfield, where are located the approach lights. With incredible views of the Ise Bay, you can see from here how international planes approach the airport for landing.
7. Dreamlifter Operations Center
Next we arrive to the facilities of the Dreamlifter Operations Center. From these facilities, the giant Boeing 747 Dreamlifter loads the manufactured parts of the Boeing 787 aircraft (manufactured in Aichi) to be transported to the final assembly plants in the United States. An important fact is that, there are only 4 Dreamlifter planes in the world, and one of them you can find here, in Centrair. If you are lucky, maybe you can see the Dreamlifter the same day of the tour.
8. International flights boarding bridges
Then, in the south wing of the airfield, you pass through the International flights boarding bridges area, where the operators of each flight work in preparation for the planes that have arrived or are going to leave. Sometimes, you pass so close to the aircraft that you may even be greeted by airplane pilots from the flight deck.
9. Flight Catering Plant
Finally you pass in front of the air catering plant Nagoya Air Catering (NAC). The Chubu International Airport is one of the few airports in the world with a flight food processing plant right inside the same airfield.
End of the tour
Back to the meeting point of the tour, the guide says goodbye and gives all the participants the tour ID card that you received at the beginning of the tour. This card has the date of the tour and the passenger number printed, indicating the real number of visitor that you are.
Meeting Point: 1st floor Passenger terminal (close to Hotel Capsula TUBE Sq)
Tour duration: 90 minutes
Price: 3,480 yen (free for children under 3)
Reservations: Online (Japanese)
*Reservations 8 days in advance.
*Tourist bus operated by the company ABC Aichi Bus Co., Ltd.
*Currently this tour is only available in Japanese, but it is expected that there will be support in English soon.
It is the fastest, easiest and most convenient way to go to Centrair. Take the train from the Meitetsu line. The train Sky Limited Express (Myu Sky), is the fastest because it takes only 28 minutes. But it is a bit more expensive and you have to pay for the first class seats. The price is 1,230 yen per trip + 360 yen for the seat reservation.
There is another train, a Limited Express that takes about 35 minutes and you can choose between first class or ordinary seats. If you choose ordinary seats, you will only have to pay the basic rate 870 yen.
Another option is to take a bus-limousine from the Meitetsu company at Nagoya station. There is a bus every hour and it takes about 88 minutes. Oneway price is 1,200 yen for adults and 600 yen for children.
1, Centrair, Tokoname-City, Aichi
Centrair Opening Hours
Terminal Building: 5:20 a.m. to 11:30 p.m.
Access Plaza, convenience stores: open 24 hours.
Sky Town: Opening hours may vary by store and restaurant