The Dornier 228, a German commuter airplane, flies between Chofu, Tokyo and the Izu Islands.

(Posted on June 12, 2024)

 (The photo by Rum)


I live in northern Yokohama. The sky over my place is usually busy with aircraft flying in different directions at different altitudes. The P-2 reconnaissance aircraft with four turbo fan engines roars northward heading for Atsugi Airbase, Kanagawa prefecture.  The C-130 transport aircraft with four turbo prop engines flies slightly higher and therefore quieter heading northward for Iruma Airbase, Saitama prefecture. Helicopters produce a noisy kind of tearing sound. I have spotted many helicopters in formation flying north-west towards Tachikawa Airbase, Metropolitan Tokyo.


Besides these military “regulars”, there are commuter airplanes flying between Chofu, Tokyo and the Izu Islands. The aircraft is the Dornier 228 with two turbo prop engines carrying 19 passengers maximum plus two crew. The regular commuter flights connect Chofu with four Izu islands. Three flights a day to Izu-Oshima (population: 7,400), which is 104 km away and a 25 minute- flying time.

                                 (The photo by yuichi Hayakawa)



Four flights to Ni-jima (population: 2,400), 147 km and 35 minutes. 


Three flights to Kozu-shima (population: 1,900), 172 km and 40 minutes.

                                       (The photo by ブル-ノプラス)

Three flights to Miake-jima (population: 2,400), 189 km and 45 minutes. 

                   (The photo by Sonata at Japanese Wikipedia)


Woo!  Altogether thirteen flights a day in one direction and the same number of flights in the opposite direction. The Dornier 228 flies 26 times a day over my place!!! The commuter aircraft make loud noises especially those going for landing at Chofu, flying at a lower altitude.  


The Izu islands, which belong to Metropolitan Tokyo, are also connected to Tokyo by ship and are tourist destinations for especially young people: swimming, diving, fishing and so on. Did you know that the islands were used as places of exile for noblemen, samurai, Buddhist monks among others until the end of the Tokugawa Shogunate?


On May 23, 2024, I visited Chofu airport, which is operated by the Tokyo Metropolitan government. Chofu is located some 20 km east of Shinjuku, Tokyo’s western downtown. The runway is 800 m long, which is too short for jet airliners but adequate for the Dornier 228s. 





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