Japan airport privatisation: Niigata Airport next

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Along with a select handful of other countries, Japan continues to carry a torch for airport privatisation. The country has already concessioned a variety of large and small airports, some individually, others in groups, and a government which once eschewed privatisation altogether is on a roll in this sector.

Local prefectures, the equivalent of counties in the US, are queuing up to ask permission for their airports to be privatised, which must make the founding fathers of the original (and revised) privatisation schemes in the US green with envy.

Next up, if the government agrees, is Niigata, and this will be the acid test of the procedure to date - an airport which handles only just over a million passengers annually in normal times, has few LCC seats, and represents an area with relatively little tourist potential, comes to the market.

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