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NEWS Last modified on July 28, 2014

Japanese government inviting bids for Kansai airports

The Japanese government will reportedly invite bids for the operating rights for New Kansai International Airport in October.

Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, is reported as detailing on Friday, that a privatisation deal is expected to be among the biggest in Japan’s drive to inject private funds into public infrastructure.

The concession license for New Kansai International, will also include the smaller nearby Osaka-Itami Airport, which only handles domestic flights.

Reports claim the sale, could fetch somewhere around JPY¥2 trillion ($20 billion), according to quotes made by Keiichi Ando, chief executive of the government-owned New Kansai International Airport Co.

The operating license for both airports will be for 45 years, and the auction is open to foreign and domestic investors, Ando adds, with the winner expected to be announced by June next year.

The company, which runs both airports, will use the proceeds to repay its JPY¥1.2 trillion ($12 billion) debt to the state, run up mainly through construction costs.

New Kansai International is Japan’s fifth largest airport, and is the main hub that services the heavily populated Kansai region.

The deal will the first airport privatisation deal in Japan, while last month, the government also started the bidding process for the operating rights of Sendai Airport.

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