2020 Games will bring extra visitors – if they can squeeze in. Japanese airports are modifying their attitude to bizav.

When a foreign government holds an unprecedented press conference at the NBAA Convention to underscore its commitment to handling more business aviation visitors, you can be sure it is in earnest – or as earnest as its national culture permits.

The Japan Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB) is looking forward to the 2020 Olympic Games and back to the past three years, during which foreign aerial visitors have doubled, spending a welcome $25 billion in the process. There is still public hostility toward bizav in Japan – and no legislation to permit fractional ownership – but four national bodies are occupying a block of booths here at the Convention to put over the message that they are pushing against the self-limited limited horizons.

Narita Airport, JCAB, Aichi Prefecture and the Japan Business Aviation Association are reminding visitors of the improvements made at Narita since 2012 in the form of a dedicated bizav gate; faster cross-airport travel; a new hangar; and a modest increase from 21 to 26 parking spots for business aircraft.

Similar achievements in the same timescale have improved access to Haneda Airport, most notably in freeing up arrival slots and squeezing in more parking spots. And at Kansai International, a “fast lane” for business passengers has been in place since March.Kansai International, a “fast lane” for business passengers has been in place since March.

Higher level, the Japanese government recently reduced the advance notification requirements for business aircraft visiting the country, typically from 10 to three days.

This is all music to the ears of Kazunori Morisaki, deputy secretary-general of JBAA, who is in the U.S. this week to represent the interests of business aviators at home and abroad. The “Japanese NBAA” is lobbying its government for “more slots and more spots” in the run-up to the Olympics. Meetings are arranged with Brazilian equivalents to learn how that country handled its Olympic air traffic.

Tokyo airports are a priority for further bizav liberalization, “but nothing is decided yet.” Could this include temporary availability of military air bases during the Olympics? The U.S. installation at Yokota, just west of Tokyo, for example? JBAA is pushing for the USAF base to take, at least, N-registered Games traffic and is still awaiting an answer.

Regarded as an advancement of sport and international companionship, the Olympics could also advance the interests of Japanese business aviation.