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Komatsu Airport privatisation tests commercial resolve in Japan

Premium Analysis

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, if there were two ‘certainties’ in the airport sector they were the concession procedures in Brazil and Japan would be durable. Brazil's one is starting to peter out now, but the Japanese one is still only getting going, with about 10% of potential privatisations completed.

Komatsu Airport, where the local prefecture has picked up again on privatising the facility as Japan begins to open up once more, is a strange case.

On one hand the airport has historically been profitable, but on the other it has demonstrated no tendency towards the Transport and Tourism Ministry’s objectives of securing low cost services and thereby improving (foreign) tourism.

If and when a formal tender is made, whoever wins it will have their hands full satisfying these objectives.

Meanwhile, a foreign intervention at this level would really set the cat among the pigeons.

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