Mitsubishi Corp., the nation’s biggest trading house, may bid for the rights to operate Sendai Airport, according to two sources.
Mitsubishi may try to team up with another Japanese firm when the government starts an auction of the 30-year concession later this year, one of the sources said, asking not to be identified because the information is private.
Japan is privatizing operations of state-run airports as part of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s push to boost private investment in infrastructure. Last year, Mitsubishi and Jalux Inc. were part of a bidding group that entered exclusive talks with the Myanmar government to operate Mandalay International Airport.
Sendai Airport is Japan’s 12th-busiest, handling 2.67 million passengers annually in Miyagi Prefecture, according to transport ministry data. The March 2011 mega-quake and tsunami in the northeast caused more than ¥10 billion of damage to runways, parking lots and a terminal building at the airport, the data show.
The ministry plans to start the auction for Sendai Airport in fiscal 2014 starting in April, and will select a preferred bidder by March 2015, according to a document it released in November. A concessionaire would have an option to extend the 30-year contract to as much as 65 years, the document shows.