Turkey set to lease four more airports

Turkey set to lease four more airports

ANKARA - Reuters
Turkey set to lease four more airports

The governmnet plans to tarnsfer operational rights of the Dalaman, Bodrum-Milas, Samsun and Nevşehir-Cappadocia airports in compliance with the ‘lease-transfer’ model. DHA Photo

Turkey is set to put out a tender for the operational rights of four more airports before the end of this year, the state airports authority manager has announced, as part of the government’s plans to raise money by involving the private sector in transportation investments through partnerships.

The Dalaman, Bodrum-Milas, Samsun and Nevşehir-Cappadocia airports will be transferred to the private sector, in compliance with the “lease-transfer” model of public financing, the General Director of State Airports Authority (DHMİ) Orhan Birdal said in an interview with Reuters yesterday.

“Our studies on the feasibility of tenders are continuing. The Bodrum and Dalaman tenders will definitely be separate. We’re working to see if we can unite Nevşehir and Samsun as a single group,” he added, underlining that the authority thinks all the tenders will stir huge interest from investors.
Both located in southeastern province of Muğla, Dalaman airport’s annual capacity is 8 million while Bodrum’s is 7.6 million. The Black Sea airport in Samsun has a capacity of 2 million, and the Central Anatolian Nevşehir has a capacity of 700,000.

All four airports accommodate both domestic and international flights.

The operational rights of the Dalaman and Bodrum airports’ international terminals are already held by companies, valid until 2015, but their domestic terminals, as well as the whole of the Nevşehir and Samsun airports, are under DHMİ authority.

A partnership of YDA and Turkuaz, ATM, holds the operational rights of the Dalaman international terminal until April 28, 2015, while Mondial-Astaldi owns Bodrum’s until the end of 2015.

Birdal said that after the expiration of companies’ rights, the companies that won the new tenders would operate both domestic and international sections together.

The DHMİ put $7.1 billion into its cashbox through the transfer of operational rights of terminal buildings between 2005 and 2010.

Currently there are 50 airports under DHMİ authority, 11 of which are partly operated by private actors. “If the private sector demands it, we own the legal rights to transfer airports other than the four to be leased,” Birdal said.

The DHMİ’s move came just in time, as the third Istanbul airport tender has whet the appetite of airport investors who could possibly interested in new ones as well, sector sources told Reuters.

3rd Istanbul airport may face delays

The government handed the operational rights of the third airport planned in Istanbul to a consortium of Turkish firms, made up of Cengiz, Kolin, Limak, Mapa and Kalyon, which won the tender on May 3, with a 22.1-billion euros (plus taxes) bid for 25-year operational rights of facility starting from 2017.

Giving the heads up about the latest situation at the planned airport, Birdal said the company had not signed an implementation contract and site delivery had not been completed.

The wining consortium should found a company that will do the signing, and after that it should request the site delivery to start construction within 30 days.

Birdal said they could not give an exact date for the site delivery, as the General Directorate of Mining (MİGEM) is still working on issues related to the mines still operating on the land planned for the airport.

The first stage of the airport is aimed to be completed by the end of 2018, but sources say the chances for that are dimming. In the meantime, the authorities will do everything they can to increase the flight capacity of the Atatürk airport in Istanbul, Birdal said.