Cambodia’s new Siem Reap airport 30% complete despite pandemic

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Construction of the foundation for the passenger terminal is 98 per cent complete and the 3,300m runway is almost finished. Photo supplied

Cambodia’s new Siem Reap airport 30% complete despite pandemic

Construction on the new $880 million Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (AIA) is nearly 30 per cent on schedule and on track to be finished in March 2023, the developer said.

Sin Chansereyvutha, a spokesman for the State Secretariat for Civil Aviation (SSCA) told The Post on Sunday that after an onsite visit by SSCA secretary of state Mao Havannall on June 15, the first phase was deemed 25 per cent complete.

Construction of the foundation for the passenger terminal is 98 per cent complete and the 3.3km runway is almost finished.

“Although the developer has faced some challenges because of Covid-19, they remain committed to the progress,” he said.

Sin said the pandemic interrupted work in April as some experts could not travel from China to Cambodia. However, the company has implemented night shifts to meet the schedule.

“According to plan, [the airport] will be completed in March 2023,” he said.

The new airport is being built on a 750ha property in Sotr Nikom district on the outskirts of Siem Reap City and will be built in three phases.

The company will invest $500 million for the first and second phases, which will allow medium-sized passenger aircraft like the Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 to land. Another $300 million will be allocated for the third phase.

The agreement to build the airport was signed between the Cambodian government and China’s state-run Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd in 2017.

It gives the Chinese firm exclusive rights to run and manage the airport concession for 55 years under a build-operate-transfer (BOT) scheme.

Mao handed over the master plan to Lu Wei, Chairman of the board of AIA, on Friday.

Lu said with the support of SSCA, the construction project will be fully completed on March 14, 2023. The company is now working closely with the technical team of the SSCA to focus on the installation of the technical facilities and the design of the airport.

Sin said the airport can handle seven million passengers in the first phase of development – 3.3km of runway, 10 million passengers by 2030 with runway capacity of 3.6km and 20 million by 2050 with runway capacity of 4km.

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