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outside San Juan's airport

San Juan Airport, Puerto Rico

Mott MacDonald provided market and traffic advisory services and financial model structuring for the Highstar/Asur consortium’s $2.6BN bid, which won a 40-year concession to finance, operate, maintain and improve Luis Munoz Marin International Airport.


Project Finance Magazine
Winner of North American Transport Deal of the Year 2013
1st airport
in FAA's Pilot Privitisation Program

San Juan’s airport was the first airport in a US jurisdiction to be run by a private operator under the FAA’s Pilot Privatization Program and continues Mott MacDonald’s track record of advising successful bidders on groundbreaking projects.

The scope of our services included a review of Puerto Rico’s aviation market and the island’s competitive position, the production of a high level base-case traffic forecast based on an economic assessment of the island and its growth prospects, and an initial assessment of aeronautical charges, operational costs and benchmarking.

Our aviation team provided specialised aviation market analysis and traffic forecasts to develop air passenger traffic and aeronautical revenue/expenditure forecasts for the airport as part of the delivery of privatisation-related due diligence services.

Our US joint venture, Hatch Mott MacDonald (HMM), served as the New York-based project manager and interface with other advisors.

Value and benefits

Demand for air services at the airport was shifting from a traditional ‘hub-and-spoke’ system to a ‘point-to-point model, however, tight restrictions placed on stakeholder engagement meant that consultation with the airlines involved was restricted.

We deployed staff with knowledge of running commercial airlines to improve confidence among investors when estimating the airlines’ competitive response and future traffic volumes. This enabled us to deliver a bankable traffic case for investment that supported Puerto Rico’s competitive position within the region and underpinned the consortium’s successful bid and commercialisation strategy.

We used our knowledge of the region to benchmark the Puerto Rican market against other Caribbean markets. We developed assumptions and delivered traffic forecasts without airline consultation as a result of the PRPPPA’s tight controls for corresponding with external parties.

We produced challenging traffic forecasts in light of demand for air services at the airport undergoing a shift from traditional 'hub and spoke' system used by American Airlines to a 'point to point' model by JetBlue Airways.

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