Japan’s Kagoshima considers privatisation of its airport, an important domestic gateway

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The Japanese airport privatisation process continues to gain momentum, and it is increasingly smaller regional airports that want to take advantage of what is known to be strong demand from investors.

When the process first began, seven years ago, the national government said that it would like all the country's 97 airports to be privatised, and it has recently reinforced that view.

The latest airport is Kagoshima, on the island of Kyushu in the far southwest of the country.

Kagoshima is an important gateway for flights to and from the string of islands to the south, in the East China Sea. Full service carriers predominate and have 89% of capacity, with only 9% accruing to the low cost segment - which is eight percentage points less than for Japan as a whole.

The government is committed to the privatisation of airports like this and there have been successes elsewhere - the municipal authorities could not be blamed for thinking that their time has come.

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