Three airports in Japan's Kansai region begin to integrate their management


Integrated operations of three major airports in the Kansai region started Sunday.

Kansai Airports Kobe, a unit of Kansai Airports, began private sector operations of Kobe Airport in the capital of Hyogo Prefecture.

Kansai Airports, owned mainly by major leasing company Orix Corp. and Vinci Airports of France, is already in charge of operations of Kansai International Airport in Osaka Prefecture and Osaka International Airport, which straddles the two prefectures.

Through integrated management, Kansai Airports aims to upgrade services at the three airports and boost operational efficiency.

The Kobe Municipal Government sold the rights to continue operating Kobe Airport until the end of March 2060 to Kansai Airports. Ownership will still be maintained for the facility, which opened in 2006.

“The integrated operations of the three airports have begun. We’ll work on advancing the airport system in Kansai by further cooperating with local societies,” Kansai Airports President Yoshiyuki Yamaya said at a ceremony Sunday in Kobe.

Also on Sunday, Takamatsu Airport in Kagawa Prefecture became the second publicly run airport to switch to private sector operations.

Tetsuya Watanabe, president of Takamatsu Airport Co., which is owned mainly by Mitsubishi Estate Co., said, “We aim to become the No. 1 airport in the Setouchi area” around the Seto Inland Sea.

The company plans to increase the number of passengers at the airport to 3.07 million in fiscal 2032 from 1.88 million in fiscal 2016.