The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is considering plans to revamp the airport in Stung Treng province to increase air connectivity in the Great Mekong Subregion (GMS).
Sinn Sereyvutha, a spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, told a local newspaper that the ADB is now studying plans to revamp the facility before making a final decision on whether or not to include the project in its final master plan for boosting connectivity in GMS.
“The Stung Treng Airport has great potential within the northeast. It is easily accessible to Laos and other countries and would connect well to three other northeastern provinces,” he said.
Mr Sereyvutha said the airport could play an important role within ADB’s vision for development within GMS.
“To upgrade the airport so that it can handle small aircraft, they will need to spend between $5-6 million, but if what they want is to be able to accommodate bigger craft like Airbus 320 and Boeing 737, then they will need to spend $20 or $30 million,” he said.
Ho Vandy, the secretary-general of the Cambodian National Tourism Alliance, said the project was first considered and reviewed in 2008 and is now under consideration for a second time.
“If the ADB decides to go ahead and lend the money to repair the airport, it will benefit the province as well as the country as a whole because Stung Treng enjoys a very strategic position, connected to Mundulkiri, Kratie and Laos,” Mr Vandy said.
“If the project is given a green light, tourists hoping to explore the natural sites of the province will spend less time travelling.
“In terms of GMS, it will increase connectivity to other GMS countries and boost the commercial sector in the region,” he added.
Stung Treng city, the provincial capital, is an important trade hub with notable Lao influences, located only 50 kilometres from the border with Laos.