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Japan to privatise seven airports in Hokkaido

The Japanese government awarded two concessions for Kobe and Takamatsu airports late last month.

Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism has launched a public consultation on the privatisation of seven civil airports in Hokkaido, northern Japan. 

The MLIT is looking at the move in a bid to boost local tourism. The airports under consideration are: New Chitose Airport, Wakkanai Airport, Kushiro Airport, Hakodate Airport, Asahikawa Airprot, Obihiro Airport and Memanbetsu Airport.

The winning bidder, which the ministry will choose by June 2019, will take over the operations of the seven hubs for 30 years. Details of the privatisation process will be released by February next year, the MLIT said. 

Late last month, the city of Kobe chose a consortium comprising Orix Corporation, Vinci Airports and Kansai Airports to run Kobe Airport for 42 years. It is the third Kansai airport managed by the Orix-Vinci pair, which already runs two international hubs in Osaka.

The MLIT also announced in July that a team led by Tokyo-based real estate developer Mitsubishi Estate has been appointed as the preferred bidder to take over operations of Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture next April for up to 55 years. Other consortium members include Japanese construction company Taisei Corporation, infrastructure consultancy Pacific Consultants and local landmark Symbol Tower in Takamatsu.

The MLIT is working on privatising Fukuoka Airport in Kyushu for a 30-year concession. It said it will announce results of evaluations on first round of bids by end of next month.