So my flashcards say 飛行場【ひこうじょう】 means airport.

But actual airports in Japan always use 空港【くうこう】, like 成田【なりた】空港【くうこう】.

What are the differences between these?

And in what situations (if any) would I want to use 飛行場【ひこうじょう】 over 空港【くうこう】?


飛行場 refers to a small local airport with a short runway, often with no regular commercial airline service. It is mostly for private use of small-size aircrafts.

空港 refers to a larger airport with longer runways that serves the general public.

Some (but not many) native speakers use the two words interchangeably in informal conversations.

  • 8
    In English it might be the same as the distinction between an airport and an airfield.
    – ssb
    Feb 25 '14 at 1:41

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