Vinci Grabs Dominican Airport Concession without Bidding
In a surprising move, Vinci, a French company that is part of a consortium managing the airport facilities in Santiago, Chile, has extended its concession of all state airports in the Dominican Republic without a new bidding process. The company only receives 22% of the rates paid by passengers, while the remaining 78% goes to the state.
The partnership with the French company Aéroports de Paris and the Italian company Astaldi allowed Vinci to win a 20-year concession for fiscal public works at the Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport in Santiago, Chile in 2015. However, in the Dominican Republic, Vinci is seeking an extension of their airport concession for 30 years, even though there are still seven years remaining on the original contract.
In Chile, the government required the formation of a national company with a minimum capital of eight million dollars and numerous other requirements to ensure compliance with the contract. This includes building a new terminal paid for by the consortium. In contrast, the original contract in the Dominican Republic exempts the concessionaire from tax charges and also exempts the rates charged to passengers.
Despite facing criticism for its handling of the airport concession in Chile, Vinci continues to assert its dominance in the management of airport facilities. It remains to be seen how this extension of the concession in the Dominican Republic will be received, especially given the controversial nature of the original contract.