Kansai International Airport’s $20 Billion Sinking Dilemma: 11 Meters Down in 30 Years

January 23, 2024
1 min read
Kansai International Airport
Kansai International Airport. Image Credit: Luke Lai ( CC BY-NC 2.0 DEED)

An enormous dilemma has emerged for Kansai International Airport, an engineering marvel and important hub in Japan: it is sinking. Built for almost $20 billion, this airport is located in Osaka Bay on two man-made islands and has been a major hub for air travel since it opened in 1994. Built in order to relieve traffic at Itami Airport in Osaka, it has subsequently become an important aviation hub for Japan, ranking as the third busiest airport as of 2022.

Serious worries are raised as the Kansai Airport continues sinking, which happened faster than expected. By 1990, as per the engineers, the airport was supposed to sink by 5.7 meters, but instead it sank 8.2 meters. It has now plummeted 11 meters in 30 years, surpassing the projections made by a considerable margin. Because of the nature of the terrain it was built upon, there has been an alarming rate of drowning. Many steps were taken to change the seafloor from a “wet sponge” state to a dry, compact one. The clay seabed was covered with more than 1.5 meters of sand, and then 2.2 million vertical pipes were installed and filled with dirt and sand to form a sturdy foundation.

Similar Posts

The airport continues to sink in spite of the efforts, which include spending $140 million on dam building and strengthening; it is now predicted that the airport will be totally buried by 2056. The airport’s susceptibility to extreme weather and natural disasters makes the situation worse. For example, in 2018, the airport was hit by the catastrophic typhoon Jebi, which resulted in a temporary shutdown. 

There is uncertainty over the future of Kansai International Airport. It continues to play a crucial role in Japan’s aviation sector, handling millions of passengers and acting as a hub for big players like Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, and All Nippon Airways. However, the question of how resilient this infrastructure is against the unforgiving forces of nature and the sea still lingers.

This scenario is a sobering reminder of the difficulties encountered when building extensive infrastructure in unusual settings. Engineers and aviation professionals throughout the world continue to closely monitor and contemplate the future of Kansai International Airport as it struggles with these issues.

Govind Tekale

Embarking on a new journey post-retirement, Govind, once a dedicated teacher, has transformed his enduring passion for current affairs and general knowledge into a conduit for expression through writing. His historical love affair with reading, which borders on addiction, has evolved into a medium to articulate his thoughts and disseminate vital information. Govind pens down his insights on a myriad of crucial topics, including the environment, wildlife, energy, sustainability, and health, weaving through every aspect that is quintessential for both our existence and that of our planet. His writings not only mirror his profound understanding and curiosity but also serve as a valuable resource, offering a deep dive into issues that are critical to our collective future and well-being.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Latest from Blog

American Public Schools Face Higher Air Pollution

Different races and ethnicities now have access to different air quality, particularly in areas near highways and industrial areas. The first national trends in exposure to nitrogen dioxide and fine particle pollution
Geothermal Plant

Philippines To Get New Geothermal Plants For Clean Energy

Energy Development Corporation President and Chief Operation Officer Richard Tantoco were recognized as one of this year’s ESG, Diversity, and Climate Trailblazers in Governance, Risk, Compliance (GRC) company Diligent’s 2022 Modern Governance

Hard & Durable Material Made From Mushrooms: MyLea

Mycotech is a startup based in Indonesia. They create sustainable products, bio-fibers and majorly specialize in MyLea, a form of sustainable leather. BioBo – bricks made from mushroom and mycelium are sustainable
Provocative Art Made From Daily Trash

Provocative Art Made From Daily Trash

Provocative Art Made From Daily Trash Pablo Llana is a contemporary artist, based out of Tijuana, Mexico. He had been publishing artworks since 2010. His work sculptures are upcycled from food-products waste

Don't Miss