Ibaraki Airport / Hyakuri Airfield
Ibaraki Airport is an airport in the city of Omitama, Ibaraki Prefecture, Japan. It also serves as air base for the Japan Air Self-Defense Force under the name Hyakuri Air Base. The airport was known as Hyakuri Airfield (百里飛行場 Hyakuri Hikōjō) prior to March 2010, when civil aviation operations began. The airport is located about 53 mi (85 km) north of Tokyo, and is intended to serve as a low-cost alternative to Tokyo's larger Narita and Haneda airports. Built as a result of large public investment, the airport has been criticized as being a symbol of wasteful government spending and as being unnecessary, opening with only one flight per day. As of September 2014, a total of eight routes are operated from the airport, all by low-cost carriers. One advantage of Ibaraki is its closer access to Tsukuba Science City (via roadway), where the highest concentration of technology firms exists in Japan. (Major cities also function as technology centres, but Tsukuba is notable in Japan in that it is more concentrated, it has open space and is specifically planned for it.) The airport currently has no advantage over Narita airport in public transport into Tsukuba, with both taking 1 hour.