No two airports are the same. Their ownership varies (many are still state owned, but also increasing numbers are in private hands) and their customers vary (from flagship to low cost carriers).
The regulatory systems to which they are subject are also different and the economic downturn affects different airports differently (hubs have broadly suffered less than point-to-point airports).
This lack of uniformity in a single sector presents a number of opportunities to the market (governments designing regulatory systems as a prelude to sale, private sector vendors and potential purchasers such as airport operators and infrastructure funds).
We believe that it is critical for legal advisers to have not just detailed knowledge of how a particular airport in a particular country works, but also to maintain a global view of the airport market and have a clear understanding of the potential options (for regulators, buyers and sellers) that are available. Allen & Overy has positioned itself so that it can offer applied knowledge from its significant experience advising on matters involving airports including project financing, development and construction, mergers and acquisitions (both public and private), funding (equity and debt), litigation, competition matters and funds.
We work with every kind of market participant in the airport sector, including buyers, consortia, builders, financiers, governments and regulators on many of the largest airport transactions around the world.
Our experience is truly global. In recent years we have acted on matters involving international airports in the UK, U.S., Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Italy, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Slovakia, Spain, Australia, India, United Arab Emirates, Greece, Columbia, Ecuador, Tunisia, Dominican Republic, Russia and Poland.