Year In Review

Canada & United States: Year in Review • 2017

Canada & United States

United States – Jan 18/17 – Westchester FAA Privatization Application Filed

Local media reports that an application to privatize the Westchester County Airport under the Airport Privatization Pilot Program has been submitted to the FAA by Westchester County. If approved, the application could facilitate Oaktree Capital’s 40-year, USD$111m directly-negotiated deal with the County for management/development of the airport. In related news, the County has since launched an RFP for advisors to assist in putting the privatization opportunity out to market.

Canada – Feb 04/17 – Canadian Gov’t Downplays Airport Privatization Plans

The Canadian government’s study on privatizing its busiest airports was recently couched by it Minister of Transport, Marc Garneau, as simply “exploring different possibilities” rather than a “done deal” as reported by media. Airport authorities, airline and union interests are squaring off against the plan, however a growing pro-privatization voice is gaining momentum.

United States – Mar 06/17 – San Antonio Task Force Assesses Privatization Options

The San Antonio Airport has initiated a study of current challenges and future demands with the aim of expanding route capacity and traffic. The task force responsible is also looking into alternative management models, including various privatization options to improve its competitive position against regional rivals including Austin-Bergstrom airport.

United States – Mar 09/17 – Ferrovial Inches Closer to Deal on Denver-Jeppesen

Six months into negotiations the Denver Airport and Ferrovial-led consortium, preferred bidder for the comprehensive upgrade of the Jeppesen Terminal, are getting closer to a binding “pre-development” agreement. An extension to the negotiation period is anticipated in order for the parties to seal the 20+ year deal and launch the renovation works.

Canada – Apr 06/17 – Toronto Gives Conditional Nod to Privatization

For the first time since the Canadian government floated the idea of privatizing its federally-owned airports, the Greater Toronto Airport Authority (GTAA) has signaled its receptiveness to the hotly debated plan. Support, however, comes with the caveat that privatization delivers with it the multi-billion dollar financing of the regional transit network which is critical to realizing GTAA’s ambitious vision of developing Toronto’s airport into the next global mega-hub.

United States – Apr 08/17 – Westchester Privatization RFP Launched

Westchester County has released a request for proposals for privatization of Westchester Airport under the FAA’s Airport Privatization Pilot Program. The County’s proposal call comes on the heels of political pushback late last year over Oaktree Capital’s 40-year, USD$111m directly-negotiated sole sourced deal. Proposals are due July 17, 2017.

United States – Apr 18/17 – Austin Opens New Terminal Under PPP Scheme

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport recently opened the new USD$12m, 30,000ft² South Terminal. Equipped with three new gates, the revamped and expanded South Terminal project has been structured under a public-private partnership between Austin-Bergstrom airport and LoneStar Airport, a subsidiary of Oaktree Capital.

Canada – May 07/17 – Canadian PM Douses Airport Privatization Debate

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau doused the heated debate on Canadian airport privatization in a recent statement in which he indicated a preference for outside capital to fund the proposed federal infrastructure bank rather than liquidating the country’s busiest airports. Nonetheless, industry insiders suggest that Toronto Airport is a prime and willing “volunteer” for privatization, given its aspirations to become the next global mega-hub and push to improve regional transit connectivity.

United States – May 08/17 – Chicago’s South Sub-urban Airport Draws Interest

A total of six parties have expressed interest in developing, operating and maintaining a new airport in the Chicago area. Dubbed the “South Suburban Airport” project, its sponsors – the Illinois Department of Transportation – are in the process of analyzing information received by the proponents. The identities of the interested parties have not yet been released.

United States – Jun 03/17 – AECOM Enters Fray for Kansas City Terminal Deal 

Kansas City Council has received a request from AECOM to be considered for development of a new airport terminal at Kansas Airport. The request comes on the heels of an unsolicited proposal from Burns & McDonnell (B&M) two weeks earlier. The B&M offer proposes to privately finance a new $1b consolidated terminal, on the condition of exclusivity.

United States – Jun 15/17 – New Private Sector Terminal Breaks Ground in Seattle

Propeller Airports, the private-sector investor, developer and operator of a new passenger terminal at Snohomish County Airport (aka Paine Field) in Seattle broke ground on the project earlier in the month. In related news, Alaska Airlines recently announced its plans to initiate commercial air service to Paine Field by fall 2018.

United States – Jul 06/17 – Nashville Assesses Airport Privatization Options

The Mayor of Nashville recently stated that privatization of Nashville International Airport is under consideration as the city looks to reduce capital outlay and help raise funds for ~USD$6b in planned mass transit projects. At this point there is no specific offer on the table, however the city is said to be inclined towards long-term lease versus outright sale.

Canada – Aug 01/17 – Bouygues-led Team Nears Completion of Iqaluit Terminal

Construction of the new Iqaluit airport terminal in northern Canada is nearing completion. The innovative PFI-structured project has been undertaken by a private consortium including Bouygues-Canada and Winnipeg Airports Authority.

United States – Aug 12/17 – Westchester Attracts Strong Bidder Interest

In response to its RfP launched in April, Westchester County has attracted three bid groups including; Ferrostar (Ferrovial and Star America Fund), MIC Airports (Macquarie) and HPN Aviation Group (Oaktree and Connor Capital), which submitted an unsolicited USD$111m bid last fall for the rights to develop HPN under a 40-year concession.

United States – Sep 08/17 – Ferrovial Clinches Denver-Jeppesen Deal

The Ferrovial-led consortium has, at last, sealed the deal for comprehensive upgrade of the Jeppesen Terminal at Denver International Airport. The 34-year PPP concession includes USD650m of new capital investment and the group is targeting financial close by the end of the year. The Denver PPP project come on the heels of the Vantage deal for LaGuardia.

United States – Oct 06/17 – St. Louis Considers Airport Privatization Options

St. Louis, Missouri is the latest in a growing list of US airports actively considering privatization as a means to meet growing airport infrastructure demands. The city is still in the early stages of evaluating its options – they’re expected to take at least 18 months to complete the process. An RFP was recently released by the city to select an advisory team to assist in structuring the process and sourcing private investors.

Canada – Nov 09/17 – Toronto-Pearson Sets Sights on Global Hub Status

With Canada’s Liberal government quietly pondering its privatization options for Canadian airports, Toronto’s Pearson International Airport appears keen to explore private-sector participation as it aspires to become the next global hub. Key to this plan, the ambitious regional transit strategy aims to create a multimodal transportation hub with Pearson at its core.

United States – Nov 20/17 – Election Results Cast Doubt on Westchester Deal 

Macquarie Infrastructure has emerged as preferred bidder for the rights to manage and develop Westchester County Airport (HPN), edging out the odds-on favorite Oaktree Capital Management. Oaktree made an uncontested offer for HPN late last year totaling USD$111m for a 40-year term. The outcome of recent local elections has cast doubt on the deal, as the Republican incumbent County Executive was unseated by a Democrat challenger opposed to HPN’s privatization

United States – Dec 12/17 – CBX Marks its Second Year of Cross Border Operations

The Cross Border Xpress (CBX) terminal, located just outside of San Diego, California, marked its second year of operations in December, having handled roughly two million passengers in 2017. CBX travelers making their journey to/from Tijuana Airport (TIJ) across two 390-foot pedestrian bridges spanning the US-Mexico border wall pay USD30 per round trip for the convenience.