The Welsh government has signed an exclusive due-diligence agreement with TBI for the possible purchase of Cardiff airport.
Carwyn Jones, the first minister of Wales, describes the airport as a "dynamic international gateway" that is critical to the country's development.
"I can today announce that the Welsh government has agreed with TBI to progress towards the purchase of Cardiff Airport," he says in a statement.
"Such an arrangement would enable us to develop a more coherent approach to our national infrastructure planning, and integrate the airport into our wider economic development strategy."
Cardiff airport posted a loss of £319,000 ($518,000) last year, compared with a £1 million profit in 2010.