Airport privatisation services to Japan

Trends and opportunities

The market

Under the Abe Government’s Japan Revitalisation Strategy, known as Abenomics, an Airport Privatisation Bill was passed in June 2013, to undertake the phased privatisation of 28 airports owned and operated by the national Japanese government.

The privatisation will incorporate concession agreements for the private sector to operate and manage aeronautical and non-aeronautical facilities. Air traffic control will continue to be managed by the national government. Among the 28 state-owned airports, Sendai Airport will be the first to be privatised, being positioned as a symbolic project of reconstruction following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami.

In June 2014, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) released timelines for the Sendai Airport operational project tender, with the winning consortium to be announced in August 2015. MLIT will establish a selection panel that includes representatives from the national government and Miyagi Prefectural Government.

In addition to Sendai Airport, there are other regional airports that are likely candidates for future privatisation including Hiroshima, Takamatsu and Fukuoka.

Several local governments have established study groups to undertake feasibility studies to provide recommendations to the national government to ensure privatisation of regional airports, which will make a positive contribution to local communities and economic growth.

In July 2014 New Kansai International Airport Company (NKIA) the owner of two airports in Osaka – Kansai International and Itami – released its Concession Implementation Policy.


As the majority of airports in Japan have been operated by the public sector, most Japanese corporates do not have operational experience or knowledge of the airport sector. This has created gaps in the market which represent opportunities for Australian firms with airport privatisation capabilities. Key market gaps include:

  • airport operation and management know-how
  • airport marketing
  • international benchmarking
  • value enhancement (increased traffic demand, improved efficiency, new demand area identification, etc.)
  • due diligence.

Australian businesses with demonstrated expertise in this sector are in a strong position to proactively approach potential Japanese business partners.

Australian firms are well placed to compete for commercial opportunities generated by the privatisation process. Opportunities are likely to emerge in the following areas:

  • Airport operations and management in Japan through the purchase of concession rights
  • Advisory services to both the sell and buy sides (preliminary research, transaction preparations, bid process management, master planning and non-aeronautical management)
  • Advisory services to Japanese corporates interested in airport operations and management in international markets

Competitive Environment

There are a significant number of Japanese trading companies, developers, banks and other domestic and international firms that are likely to participate in consortia to bid for the operating rights for these airports, according to public media reports:

  • Macquarie (Aust)
  • Aéroports de Paris (France)
  • Changi Airport (Sing)
  • Fraport AG (Germany)
  • Mitsui Fudosan (Real Estate) (JPN)
  • Mitsubishi Estate (JPN)
  • Sumitomo Real Estate (JPN)
  • Tokyu Land Corporation (JPN)
  • Sumitomo Corp (JPN)
  • Mitsubishi Corp (JPN)
  • Mitsubishi UFJ Bank (JPN)
  • Mizuho Bank (JPN)
  • Sumitomo Mitsui Banking (JPN)
  • Orix (JPN)
  • Nippon Life Insurance Company (JPN)
  • Maeda Corporation (JPN)

Links and industry contacts

Government, business and trade resources

Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT)
Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA)
Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI)
Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA)
Jana Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC)
The Overseas Construction Association of Japan, Inc (OCAJI)

Please note: this list of websites and resources is not definitive. Inclusion in this list does not imply endorsement by Austrade. The information provided is a guide only.

Contact details

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