Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has announced that the operation and development of Fukuoka Airport in southern Japan will be outsourced to a private contractor with effect from April 2019.
It will be the third airport to have been outsourced to the private sector by MLIT following airport operator Vinci’s acquisition of Kansai International and Osaka Itami airports in 2016. Fukuoka Airport is the largest of the three airports in terms of annual passenger traffic, serving more than 21 million travelers in 2015.
Through the privatization, MLIT aims to attract more inbound tourists by increasing the number of low cost carriers (LCC) and new air routes. It also hopes to improve the passenger experience through runway and terminal improvements.
The concession guidelines will be published in May 2017 with the aim of selecting the preferred bidder in May the following year. The concession will run for a maximum of 30 years with the possibility of a five-year extension due to ‘force majeure’ .