It is one of Asia’s busiest transport hubs.
But, while it usually operates without a hitch, Tokyo’s Haneda Airport ground to an unexpected halt on Monday – when a passenger’s dog escaped onto the runway.
While the canine was retrieved one of the main runways was closed, delaying hundreds of travellers across 14 different airlines.
A poodle’s dash for freedom briefly shut down one runway at a major Japanese airport on Monday, forcing its owner to come out and catch the canine
The offending hound, a large poodle, had been checked onto a Japan Airlines flight bound for Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, as precious cargo.
But, at 8.50am, moments before being loaded into the aircraft by baggage handlers, it escaped – directly into flight traffic.
It appeared to enjoy its brief taste of freedom, dashing across a runway and sniffing around in grassy areas.
According to the transport ministry, several commercial carriers were delayed by the canine’s caper, which saw one of four runways closed for six minutes.
In the end, about 40 minutes later, the poodle’s owner had to come out to catch the pet.
Japan Airlines said it would question its staff and reassess loading procedures to avoid any similar incidents happening in the future, the South China Morning Post reported.
The fully-grown dog escaped at Tokyo’s Haneda airport while cargo crews were loading its cage onto a Japan Airlines flight bound for Naha in Okinawa
Not that such animal adventures are unheard of, of course.
Back in 2012 a Rhodesian Ridgeback escaped onto the runway at New York’s La Guardia airport.
The puppy, named Byrdie, stopped planes from both landing and taking-off, the Port Authority confirmed at the time.
After airport staff unsuccessfully tried to coax it back into its basket, the owner was escorted from their flight to retrieve it.