Domestic consortium enters talks to operate Hokkaido airports

A consortium led by Hokkaido Airport Terminal Company, operator of New Chitose Airport’s terminal buildings, has been chosen to enter exclusive talks with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism to privately operate seven airports in Hokkaido.

Last year it was reported that four consortia were bidding for the contract, including international firms from France and Singapore.

The airports to be included in the contract are the island’s flagship New Chitose Airport, near Tomakomai, as well as six struggling local airports in Asahikawa, Hakodate, Kushiro, Memanbetsu, Obihiro, and Wakkanai. All seven airports are owned by the national or local governments.

Other members of the Hokkaido Airport Terminal Company-led consortium are Mitsubishi Estate, the Tokyu Corporation, North Pacific Bank, the Hokkaido Electric Power Company, and the state-affiliated Development Bank of Japan.

Should an IR be licensed in Tomakomai, the IR operator and the consortium chosen to operate the Hokkaido airports would clearly have to work in partnership to develop regional tourism.