Two major air travel advocacy organizations have played down fears of a threat to human health for anyone traveling to Japan or of a major disruption to air travel to or within the country.
The International Air Transport Association, based in Geneva, has welcomed confirmation from six United Nations agencies tasked with monitoring the impact of Japan's damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant that there are no hazards to health or transportation services.
The UN statement, released on April 2, also confirmed that there is no need for passengers arriving from Japan to undergo screening for radiation at airports or seaports around the world.
The joint statement was issued by the World Health Organization, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the World Meteorological Organization, the International Maritime Organization, the International Civil Aviation Organization and the World Tourism Organization.
According to the organizations' studies, continuous monitoring around Japan's airports confirms that radiation levels are well within safe limits from a health perspective. For further updates, travelers visiting Japan by air have been advised to consult a dedicated website established by the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau: http://www.mlit.go.jp/koku/flyjapan_en/
"Safety is always the top priority," said Giovanni Bisingani, director general and CEO of IATA. "The transparent and continuous monitoring of the situation has allowed Japanese and international authorities to confirm that Japan's airports remain open and safe for travelers and transport workers.
"It is important that governments and industry respond to the challenges of this crisis with best practices supported by expert advice," he added. "We are reassured that the UN is not recommending screening measures for passengers coming from Japan."
That assessment was supported by the International Civil Aviation Organization, which also declared that there is no threat to travelers from nuclear radiation from the Fukushima plant, 220 km north of Tokyo.
The Montreal-based organization said that the "radioactive material from the damaged Fukushima Daiichi plant is gradually spreading outside Japan into the global atmosphere but at extremely low concentrations that do not present health or transportation safety hazards."
It also pointed out that all airports in Japan except Sendai, which was badly damaged when the March 11 tsunami swept out of the Pacific Ocean, are operating normally for both domestic and international flights.