San Juan airport operator dropped from LaGuardia terminal bidding

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Updated with PANYNJ comments

Grupo Aeroportuario del Sureste (ASUR) has been disqualified from bidding on a concession to rebuild the central terminal at New York LaGuardia airport.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) disqualified the Mexican firm, ASUR says in a stock exchange filing today. It did not disclose why it was disqualified now, nearly eight months after it was shortlisted to bid on the $3.6 billion project at LaGuardia.

As a result, ASUR says that the Aerostar New York consortium will not participate in the procurement process. The operator is an equity investor with Highstar Capital in the consortium.

ASUR and Highstar were not immediately available for comment. The PANYNJ declines to comment.

LaGuardia Gateway Partners (Meridiam, Skanska Infrastructure and Vantage Airport), LGAlliance (Macquarie Infrastructure and Lend Lease) and LGA Central Terminal Consortium (ADP & TAV and Goldman Sachs Infrastructure Partners) remain in the running for the LaGuardia terminal deal.

The long-term design-build-finance-operate-maintain concession at LaGuardia includes building a new 120,774m² (1.3 million ft²) terminal with 35 contact gates. The project will be phased with construction beginning later in 2014, the first 10 gates opening in 2016 and the new head house in 2018.

The terminal is scheduled to be complete in the third quarter of 2021.

ASUR and Highstar own Aerostar’s San Juan Luis Munoz Marin International airport concession, which closed in February 2013. The 40-year, $2.6 billion deal includes $240 million in initial infrastructure upgrades, many of which are already underway.

Airlines are largely happy with the progress at San Juan, which includes a new fixed rate fees and upgrades to concourses B and C.

Kevin Costello, chair of the San Juan Airport airline affairs committee and director of properties and airport affairs for JetBlue Airways, says that carriers are working “collaboratively” with Aerostar in San Juan on the upgrades.