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Japan - Hokkaido airports privatisation close to conclusion

Privatisation of Japanese airports took years to get off the ground but now that it has, there are reports of new deals and the successful conclusion of existing ones every month.

A speculative attempt by the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry to find a concessionaire for seven airports on the northern island of Hokkaido (of which only one is of any substance) looked to be a long shot when it was first proposed, but it attracted a high number of bidders.

Now one consortium has been chosen as the preferred negotiation rights holder and the deal could be completed with the concessionaire in place at all of them in less than two years' time.

At the same time another consortium, made up of companies experienced in airport privatisation and others that are not, has tied up a deal to manage and develop a new airport in the Mongolian capital, Ulaanbaatar)

This suggests that both the domestic market and foreign ones in Asia will be fair game for Japanese companies that until quite recently had no experience whatsoever of the airports business.

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