Spanish infrastructure developer Ferrovial has revealed its interest in Japan's airport privatization processes at the ACI Airport Economics and Finance Conference in London.
Jorge Gil, CEO of Ferrovial, stated:
In terms of terms of the Kansai opportunity my team has already been to Tokyo talking to the seller, possible partners, and advisers to understand the transaction, but we are interested, definitely.
New Kansai International Airport Corporation, which owns both Itami Airport and Kansai Airport, plans to tender an operating concession for both airports during fiscal year 2014 in order to repay Kansai Airport's outstanding debt burden of 1.2 trillion yen.
The deal is expected to be Japan's biggest private infrastructure project, the rights could fetch up to 600 billion yen (US$5.86 billion).
Keiichi Ando, president and CEO of Kansai International Airport, stated:
The main objectives are to reduce the debt burden of about US$12 billion accumulated during the construction, and secondly to increase the competitiveness of both airports, by bringing in experienced operators and investors.
Other foreign names such as US-based Fortress Investment Group and Macquarie Group are taking stakes in Japan's infrastructure sector.
Kansai International Airport is located on an artificial island in the middle of Osaka Bay, 38 km (24 mi) southwest of ?saka Station, located within three municipalities, including Izumisano (north), Sennan (south) and Tajiri (central), in Osaka Prefecture, Japan. Kansai saw an 5% year-on-year increase in international traffic in summer 2013, largely supported by low-cost carrier traffic to Taiwan and Southeast Asia overcoming a decrease in traffic to China and South Korea.
Osaka-Itami International Airport is the primary domestic airport for the Kansai region of Japan, including the major cities of Osaka, Kyoto, and Kobe. It is classified as a first class airport. Itami is currently limited to domestic flights, and can only handle 18 landings per hour and 370 landings per day.