Year In Review

Asia & Oceania • Year in Review • 2018

Philippines – Dec 24/18 – SMHC’s Unsolicited Bulacan Airport Proposal Gets Government Green Light

An agreement has been reached between the Department of Transportation and San Miguel Holdings Corp, for concession of the Bulacan International Airport.  The USD14b unsolicited P3 proposal, with no government guarantees or subsidies, will include the construction, operation and maintenance of Bulacan, situated on a 2,500-hectare site.

India – Dec 18/18 – Navi Mumbai Project Inches Forward Amid Community Angst Over School Closures

As the Nav Mumbai project inches forward, with initial acquisition of land now complete, the City and Industrial Development Corporation of Maharashtra Ltd. has set about the delicate task of relocating affected residents. Although most of the villagers have not moved out yet, some schools have already been closed, causing angst within the affected communities.

Myanmar – Nov 24/29 – Yangon Airport Thriving Under Private Sector Operation

Yangon Aerodrome Company Limited, the private operator of Yangon Int’l Airport (YIA) since October 2015, recently welcomed its five millionth passenger year-to-date and is projecting a 2.5% year-over-year growth for 2018, totaling 6 million passengers. Over the past five years, YIA has recorded an average annual increase of 8.6%.

India – Nov 13/18 – Six Non-metro Airports Up for Concession, Aimed at Raising the Bar

Six Airport Authority of India non-metro airports; Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Lucknow, Guwahati, Thiruvananthapuram and Mangaluru, recently received an “in principle” nod from the Union government for concession operation and development under a PPP framework, with the aim of achieving world-class status of top private Indian airports like Delhi and Hyderabad.

Malaysia- Nov 08/18 – Novel REIT Scheme Planned for Airport Privatization, a World First

A Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT) scheme is being planned for privatization of airport infrastructure as a means to “securitize” cash flows. Hailed as first of its kind in the world, this novel approach aims to “put government assets to work” and bring much-needed revenue into the public purse. Details on REIT structure are still sketchy, however the government say more details fill soon follow, including management and listing approach.

Philippines – Nov 01/18 – SMC on Its Own to Make Case with Carriers for New Bulacan Airport Operations

The Duterte government has stated that it will not force airlines to operate at the new Bulacan Airport, proposed by San Miguel Corp, instead leaving it up to the private operator/investors to make the case to commercial operators. The Department of Transportation is in the midst of negotiating the concession deal with the proponent.

Thailand – Oct 30/18 – Board of Investment Sweetens the Pot for U-Tapao T3 Bidders

U-Tapao Airport’s proposed Terminal 3 project, one of six major development initiative being advanced under the Eastern Economic Corridor program, has recently received investment incentive scheme approval from the country’s Board of Investment, in an effort to stimulate bidder interest in the opportunity. Incentives will include import duty exemptions on machinery and corporate income tax relief for a period of eight years.

Indonesia – Oct 16/18 – APII Seeks Private Sector Partners for Medan Kualanamu Airport

State-owned Angkasa Pura II (APII) is said to be actively seeking potential partners with proven airport operations experience, traffic development credentials and ample funding capacity to jointly manage and develop Medan Kualanamu Int’l Airport. The public-private partnership is intended to encompass airside and landside infrastructure including airside and terminal facilities.

India – Oct 03/18 – GMR Selected to Operate and Develop Nagpur Airport

GMR has been selected to develop, operate and manage Nagpur airport. The RFP process, launched in March 2018, will establish a 30-year P3 concession. Nagpur handled 2.2m passengers and 7,800 metric tonnes of cargo last year – passenger traffic grew at an annual compound rate of 11% over the past five years and ranks 17th nationally in cargo volumes.

Philippines – Sep 16/18 – SMC Plans for Bulacan Airport Stymied Amid Gov’t Reservations Over Project Risks

The San Miguel Corp. (SMC) group’s plan for development of Bulacan’s airport is now up in the air as the Finance Minister has questioned the viability of the project. At issue from the government side: lack of guarantees from the SMC mother company to backstop the project, as well as concerns over potential government liabilities/compensation in the event of force majeure events and/or material adverse actions.

India – Sep 05/18 – Local Farmers Turn Up the Heat on Jewar Airport Land Acquisition Drive

Local farmers turn up the heat in Jewar airport land acquisition negotiations. The greenfield project, encompassing some 5,000 hectares, including 1,300 hectares specifically for the airfield, is targeted for completion by 2022-23. A total of over 1,700 landowners have already consented, however the government continues to negotiate well after the August 31 deadline.

Nepal – Aug 15/18 – Law-makers Consider PPP Model for Gautam Buddha Airport

The government of Nepal is said to be considering a public-private partnership model for the Gautam Buddha Airport in Bhairahawa. A drive to partnering with “trustable” domestic and/or investors is gaining traction with law-makers in the country, as it nears completion of upgrades to the airport, which are due to be commissioned up by mid-2019.

Sri Lanka – Jul 30/18 – Sri Lanka Seeks Investment Partner to Salvage Mattala Airport Boondoggle

The Airports Authority of India (AAI) is said to be in negotiations with the Sri Lankan gov’t to acquire a 70% stake in Mattala Airport at an estimated value of USD325m, however AAI has downplayed such reports. Whatever the case, having handled an average of only seven passengers/day in 2017, the gov’t is clearly keen to salvage its embarrassing boondoggle investment.

Japan – Jul 01/18 – Broad Multi-national Consortium Awarded Concession Rights to Operate Fukuoka Airport

The Japanese Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) has awarded the rights to operate and develop Japan’s Fukuoka Airport to a multi-national consortium which includes Mitsubishi and Changi Airports, as well as Nishi-Nippon Railroad. The ‘basic agreement’ was signed with MLIT on June 26, 2018 and concession commencement is set for April 1, 2019.

Philippines – Jun 30/18 – Mactan Cebu’s Stunning New Terminal Set to Open

The GMR/Megawide-led Terminal 2 project at Mactan-Cebu Int’l Airport, which broke ground in 2016, is set for official opening on July 1. Recognized as a textbook example of efficient project management and delivery, the new terminal’s stunningly innovative design has an annual design capacity of 8m international passengers.

India – Jun 04/18 – Kerala’s New Greenfield Airport Ready for Take-off     

The new greenfield airport in Kerala is set to commence commercial operations in September, based on the latest project schedule. Incorporating green energy and the latest technology into its design, the new international facility, located roughly 20 km from Kannur, has been set up under a Public-Private Partnership, Build-Own-Operate framework.

Malaysia – May 14/18 – Malaysia Airports Eyes Network Expansion in India

Malaysia Airports Holdings, operator of Kuala Lumpur and numerous smaller Malaysian airports, as well as Sabiha Gökçen airport in Turkey, has set its sights on securing operating rights for five yet to be identified Indian airports. The Indian government has ear-marked fifty odd airports in the country that could be developed under private investment models.

Myanmar – May 03/18 – Myanmar & Japan Attempt to Get Hanthawaddy Airport Project Back on Course

The on-again-off again Hanthawaddy Int’l Airport project is back in focus again, as the Japanese and Myanmar governments attempt to salvage the troubled deal. Japan is keen to fast-track the airport project however there are still key details to iron out including the total investment value which is currently estimated at US$1.5b.

Philippines – May 01/18 – Manila Airport Rehabilitation Project Remains Mired in Red Tape

The Ninoy Aquino International Airport rehabilitation project remains stalled as the National Economic and Development Authority awaits action from the Department of Transportation to give the green light on the Original Proponent Status (OPS) for the project. The OPS is a precondition to commencing the formal project review process.

Nepal – Apr 28/18 – Nepal Considers Private Sector Options Amid Congestion and Dismal Service Levels

Choked by congestion, Nepal is starting to look to private sector capital as a potential option to fund much needed airport expansion and modernization. With no significant upgrades in over 28 years, passengers are facing long queues amid the most basic of service levels. Studies recommend relocation of domestic service to Thulachaur in Kavre.

India – Apr 26/18 – Chennai Airport Privatization May be Back on the Table

Recent chatter in the Indian press indicates that Chennai’s airport may be back on the block for privatization. The Airports Authority of India commissioned a study to assess the feasibility of structuring Chennai under a PPP framework. The study was apparently conducted six months ago, however no clear outcome/recommendations have been released to date.

Philippines – Apr 10/18 – Aboitiz Unsolicited Proposal for Philippine Regional Airports Rejected

The Philippine government said to have rejected Aboitiz InfraCapital’s offer to expand and operate the regional airports of Laguindingan, Iloilo, Bacolod and New Bohol under a 35-year concession. The Department of Transportation is apparently opting, instead, for a solicited bid process. The original proposal call for the regional airport bundle, initiated prior to the 2016 national elections, was scuttled when the new Duterte administration took power.

Japan – Apr 02/18 – VINCI/Orix Assume Operations of Kobe Under 42-year Concession

Kobe City announced its plan to privatize Kobe airport in late 2016. Although several bidders participated in the proposal

call, the VINCI/ORIX-led Kansai Airports group had the benefit of a right-of-first-refusal, based on the government’s objective to consolidate the operations of the Kansai, Itami and Kobe airport cluster. As expected, VINCI/Orix prevailed, securing the rights to operate Kobe under a 42-year concession, which commenced April 1, 2018.

India – Mar 30/18 – Fairfax India Poised to Assume Control of Bangalore Airport Concession Company

Fairfax India Holdings has moved to acquire a further 6% of the Bangalore International Airport concession company from Siemens, one of the original investors in the venture, for USD67m, subject to the usual closing conditions and consents. The purchase is expected to transact by mid-year upon which Fairfax will have a controlling stake in the company, increasing from 48% to 54%. The concession commenced in 2008 and runs to 2038, with an option for extension to 2068.

Japan – Mar 15/18 – ADP Pre-positions to Bid on Japan’s Hokkaido Bundle of Seven Airports

ADP International is reported to be pre-positioning to bid for the concession and operating rights for the New Chitose International airport in Sapporo, along with a package of six smaller airport on Japan’s northern island of Hokkaido. ADP’s likely local partners include Japanese trading houses, property developers and local Hokkaido-based firms.

Philippines – Mar 11/18 – Heavy Hitters Line Up for Rights to Upgrade Manila’sNinoy Aquino Airport

Suitors are lining for the right to transform Manila’s beleaguered Ninoy Aquino International Airport which has suffered for many years with outdated and congested facilities, reflected by their abysmal world airport service rankings. Groups vying for the project include a “super consortium” comprised of Aboitiz, AC Infrastructure, Alliance Global, AEDC, Filinvest, JG Summit and Metro Pacific, as well as the Megawide-GMR consortium, private operators/developers of the Mactan Cebu Airport.

Myanmar  Mar 01/18 – Hanthawaddy Airport Project Set for 2020 Completion

The new Hanthawaddy Airport is targeted for opening in 2020, at which time all international flights will be relocated from the existing Yangon Airport. A consortium including Changi (Singapore) and JGC Corporation (Japan) secured rights to the project back in 2014 for design, construction and management under a PPP framework.

India – Feb 11/18 – Malaysia Holding to Sell its Minority Stake in Hyderabad

Malaysia Airports Holdings recently announced plans to sell its 11% stake in GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd. for USD$76.1m to fellow shareholder GMR. Targeted to transact by April 30, 2018, with a provision of extension up to December 1, 2018, the deal is still subject to board, shareholder and regulatory approvals. GMR’s share will increase from 63% to 74%.

India – Feb 05/18 – New Kannur Airport Set for Mid-year Launch

The greenfield Kannur International Airport (KIAL) is set to be operational by mid-year. Structured under a public-private partnership framework, KIAL’s shareholders include the Kerala government (35%), various public sector entities (25%), a collection of cooperatives, banks and individual shareholders (30%) and the Airports Authority of India (10%).

India – Jan 10/18 – India’s Maharashtra’s Gov’t Approves Nagpur Airport 

The regional Maharashtra government of western India has approved the development of the Nagpur airport as Public Private Partnership (PPP) for a 60-year term. The new greenfield airport will include two runways and passenger terminal, as well as cargo and commercial facilities. The longest runway will be 4,000 meters long to facilitate cargo and military operations.

Maldives – Jan 07/18 – Maldives’ Beleaguered Maafaru Project Reassigned 

The Maafaru airport project, hampered by repeated delays, has been handed over to Sun Siyam Resorts (SSR) under a public-private partnership. SSR is owned by national politician Ahmed Siyam. The works, slated for completion within two years, include an 1,800 meter runway and ramp parking for up to six commercial aircraft. The project was initially awarded to Millennium Capital owned by Hamid Ismail, the uncle of now incarcerated former vice president Ahmed Adeeb.