Foreign participation in bidding for Fukuoka Airport concession
In the run-up to the bidding for the concession of the management rights of Fukuoka Airport, again a foreign partner has appeared. After France’s Vinci S.A. participation in the winning bid for the Osaka airports and participation in the bid for Kobe airport, Singapore’s Changi Airport Group is looking to participate in the competition for the airport in Northwest Kyushu.
Changi Airport Group has reached a basic agreement (J) with a local group consisting of Kyushu Electric Power and JR West, and trading company Mitsubishi Shoji. Changi is expected to bring in the necessary international expertise to redevelop the Fukuoka airport, which has seen a decline in interest by major international carriers in recent years. The company is one of the major players in the world, also managing airports in Italy and Russia.
The airport has seen an increase in visitors from nearby Asian countries, but European, Australian and US carriers have withdrawn from the airport in recent years. The region would like to increase tourists from distant destinations, as they are likely to stay longer.
Facing budgetary constraints, the Japanese government is promoting the participation of the private sector in Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) and Privately Funded Initiatives (PFI) in management of public infrastructure. In recent years, the management rights of a number of airports has been awarded in concession, and more are expected. Beside airports, preparations for the privatization of the management of highways and public waterworks infrastructure are also underway.