The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) plans to roll out the privatization of seven airports in Hokkaido island in northern Japan in three stages.
Laying out its privatization policy for the Hokkaido airports, MLIT revealed yesterday (13 February) that the airports would be offered on a single concession but would move into private ownership in stages.
State-owned New-Chitose airport, Japan’s fifth largest airport, is scheduled to be privatized from around June 2020, followed by city-owned Asahikawa airport from around October 2020.
The remaining five airports, three central government-owned airports (Wakkanai, Kushiro, Hakodate); one city-owned airport of Obihiro and the Hokkaido government-owned Memanbetsu Airport, will begin private operations from March 2021.
MLIT privatizing these five airports as a package, together with local cities in Hokkaido and the Hokkaido government. One winning bidder is expected to be selected to obtain the 30-year right, plus possible five-year extension, to operate the seven airports and airport terminal buildings.
A preferred bidder may be selected by July 2019 after a release of the implementation plan around March 2018. Guidelines for applicants are scheduled to be released in April 2018.
A fierce battle is set to take place over the operating rights of airports in Japan’s northern island, which boasts rich tourist attractions.
A consortium led by Hokkaido Airport Terminal Co (HKK) has been formed to bid for the Hokkaido airports concession. The team also includes the Development Bank of Japan, Mitsubishi Estate and railway operator Tokyu Corp.