Japan Coast Guard Haneda station to resume flying planes

NHK has learned that the Japan Coast Guard will allow personnel at its base in Tokyo's Haneda Airport to operate its aircraft from Thursday.

A plane of the base was recently involved in a fatal collision at Haneda Airport. On January 2, it collided with a Japan Airlines jet on the airport's runway.

Everyone on board the passenger jet was evacuated safely, but five of the six crew on the coast guard plane were killed.

Since then, the Japan Coast Guard has suspended use of airplane for personnel deployed at Haneda Air station, in order to review safety measures and provide staff with psychological care.

Sources close to the matter said operation is now set to be resumed after safety was confirmed and care support provided.

Since early this month, coast guard pilots stationed at the air station have received training at Chitose Air Station in Hokkaido, northern Japan.

Only one of four coast guard planes deployed at Haneda is currently in operation, after one was lost in the accident and the remaining two placed under maintenance. The coast guard plans to use planes from nearby air stations if necessary.

It resumed helicopter operations at Haneda on March 1.