Preferred bidder selected for Hokkaido airports concession

03 July 2019 - 12:00 am UTC

A consortium led by Hokkaido Airport Terminal (HKK) has been selected as the preferred bidder for the 30-year concession to operate seven airports on the Hokkaido island in northern Japan over its rival bidding group.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) said today (3 July) on its website that the HKK-led group, known as the Hokkaido Airport Group, scored 276.7 points in the second and final screening. Meanwhile, its rival group, known as Sky Seven, led by Tokyo Tatemono and including ADP, scored only 235.9 points.


The winning consortium is due to sign the basic accord for the concession in August this year, MLIT said.


The group includes big names from Tokyo such as Mitsubishi Estate, Tokyu Corp., Development Bank of Japan, Sankei Building, Japan Airlines, ANA Holdings, Mitsui Fudosan, Mitsubishi Corp., Dentsu, Taisei Concession, and Sompo Japan Nipponkoa. In addition to HKK, the consortium also comprises of regional companies based in Hokkaido, North Pacific Bank, Hokkaido Bank, Hokkaido Electric Power, Iwata Chizaki, and Doshin Service Center.


The result follows a pattern around other airport concessions in Japan whereby local entities joined with major players. A regional consortium in Fukuoka city in western Japan joined hands with Singapore’s Changi Airports International and Japanese trading house Mitsubishi to win the 30-year right to operate Japan’s fourth busiest Fukuoka Airport that has already started from April this year.


Investors have been closely monitoring the contest to win the concession to operate a bundle of seven airports in Hokkaido, which also includes the nation’s fifth busiest airport, New Chitose Airport. The Hokkaido island has been luring inbound travelers venturing to Japan due to its spectacular tourist attraction spots such as ski and spa resorts.


New Chitose Airport, the busiest among the seven airports in Hokkaido, is Japan’s second largest state-controlled airport in terms of its JPY 15.2bn (USD 136m) EBITDA for the fiscal year 2017.


MLIT is planning to roll out the privatization of the seven airports in three stages. The state-owned New Chitose Airport is scheduled to be privatized from 1 June 2020, followed by city-owned Asahikawa Airport from 1 October 2010.  


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 operations under a concession arrangement from March 2021.  


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