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This Japanese airport hasn’t lost a single piece of baggage in 30 years

Simon Calder’s Travel

Japan’s seventh busiest airport is celebrating an aviation milestone – 30 years without losing a single piece of baggage.

Kansai International Airport (KIX) in Osaka said that since opening in September 1994, none of the suitcases of the 20 to 30 million passengers the airport welcomes annually have been misplaced or damaged by baggage handlers or ground staff.

Despite the impressive record, airport staff were modest about the achievement.

Kenji Takanishi, a public relations officer for Kansai, told CNN: “We don’t feel like we have been doing something special.

“We have been working as we normally do. We only do our work on a daily basis and we are recognised for it. We are certainly happy to receive the award. I think our staff, especially those working on the ground, feel more pleased.”

In April, the efficient Japanese aviation hub won first place in the Skytrax, a UK-based air transport rating organisation, baggage handling category for the eighth time.

The World Airport Award evaluates waiting time before baggage pickup, the efficiency of baggage delivery, and the response to lost baggage by international airports.

Floating on manmade islands in Osaka Bay, Kansai serves travellers from Osaka, Kobe and Kyoto and aims to carefully return luggage to the baggage claim belt within 15-minute margins.

The efficient airport floats on artificial islands in Osaka Bay (Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Earlier this year, it was reported that the artificial islands holding the ‘world’s best’ airport are quickly sinking into the Seto Inland Sea following years of extreme weather conditions and the enormous weight of airport buildings.

Renovations are currently underway at Kansai Airport to accommodate millions of additional passengers as Osaka gears up to host the World Expo in 2025.

The Kansai Airports Group said it will continue to “create an environment in which passengers can have a pleasant and fun time at the airport and provide enjoyable travel experiences”.

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