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YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — The Air Mobility Command’s passenger terminal took a hop across the base Wednesday, temporarily setting up operations at the old Base Exchange on the west side while the permanent facility is renovated.

Officials expect to be in the alternate location for eight to 10 months, but they say travel won’t be interrupted during that time.

“There really is no impact on travelers,” said Capt. Krishaan Anderson, the officer in charge of passenger operations for the 730th Air Mobility Squadron. “They’ll have to go to Building 1213 instead of Building 80, and we’ll have to bus people from the terminal to the airport. Other than that, everything will be seamless.”

Army and Air Force Exchange Service officials will not run a cafeteria in the temporary terminal, he said, but they may add some vending machines.

Hot dogs and refreshments will be sold at the AMC counter.

Other amenities include a mailbox, children’s lounge with play facility, Internet access, storage lockers and phone-card sales. An automated teller machine is located on the end of the building next to the AMC.

“In terms of customer service and flight info, everything else is standard and typical,” Anderson said.

“We’re obligated to provide pretty much what the commercial airlines do. We’re supposed to have the same things that were in our main terminal.”

The $1.7 million renovation project at the permanent facility, set to begin Friday, will address four major needs, Anderson said:

• Nonfriable asbestos is being completely removed from the building. Some was taken out during a renovation project in the 1990s.

• Electrical components will be rewired, allowing for additional vending machines that dispense hot food.

• Minor structural changes, including the addition of a divider wall to the AAFES cafeteria and the partial enclosure of the entrance area, are planned.

• The construction of a secondary, retaining wall just outside the structure is aimed at boosting force protection.

“We’re hardening the facility a little more. That will allow for a safer environment. The whole idea is to make the passenger terminal safer for people who are flying,” Anderson said.

The Toda Corp., an independent contractor based in Tokyo, is performing the work. The work should be completed by October or November.

The AMC terminal at Yokota is a central hub on the Kanto Plain, handling about 9,000 passengers a month, according to Anderson.

That figure can climb as high as 13,000 during the peak summer travel months.


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