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Economy

Singapore's Changi Airport joins Fukuoka bid consortium

Planned privatization could help lure more foreign airliners, fund new runway

Planes from various airlines line up at Fukuoka Airport.

FUKUOKA -- Singapore's Changi Airport Group will join the consortium bidding for the operating rights to the international airport in Fukuoka, southern Japan, The Nikkei learned Wednesday.

Along with Changi Airport, trading house Mitsubishi Corp. will take part, as well as businesses such as Kyushu Electric Power and Nishi-Nippon Railroad from the surrounding region.

The various parties are set to begin discussion on details such as the ownership ratio and how they will each be involved in operating the airport.

The operation of the airport is scheduled to be privatized in April 2019. Fukuoka has a number of routes connecting destinations across Asia, but has struggled to lure carriers from Europe, the U.S. and Australia. The local parties hope to leverage the expertise of the Singaporean partner, which has already been operating airports worldwide.

It is unclear so far whether there are other bids for the deal.

Japan's transport ministry unveiled the outline of the planned outsourcing in March, including the minimum bid price of 161 billion yen ($1.45 billion) for a 30-year period. 

Part of the money raised through selling the operating rights will be allocated for building an additional runway that is scheduled for completion by March 2025.

(Nikkei)

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