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According to sources, Japan's New Kansai International Airport has shortlisted twenty firms for a concession to operate the airport for 44 years. Kansai airport is a regional hub and the country's fifth-largest airport.
InfraPPP understands that bidders include Macquarie Group, Singapore's Changi Airports International, Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP), Japanese financial services supplier Orix, Japanese property developer Mitsubishi Estate, Spanish infrastructure developer Ferrovial, German airport operator AviAlliance, French infrastructure developer Vinci, Sumitomo Realty & Development, Nippon Life Insurance and Daiwa House Industry.
The licence for Kansai will be bundled with operating rights for Osaka International Airport. Government officials expect fetch at least JPY2tn ($16.6 billion) from the winning bidder.
The winner of the bidding is expected to be announced by June following a second round of bidding.
Located within three municipalities in Japan's Osaka Prefecture, the airport was opened on 4 September 1994 to handle increasing passenger numbers at Osaka International Airport, which is closer to the city of Osaka and now handles only domestic flights.
The airport serves as a hub for local airlines such as All Nippon Airways, Japan Airlines and Nippon Cargo Airlines.
The bidding process is part of prime minister Shinzo Abe's strategy to strengthen private-sector investment in Japan's infrastructure to help the nation reduce its debt.
The country is also selling the operating rights for its tenth largest airport, Sendai Airport in northern Japan.