Capital’s airport gets upgrade

Sok Chan / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A top view of the boarding concourse at Phnom Penh International Airport. KT/Mai Vireak

Phnom Penh International Airport’s renovated arrival hall and boarding concourse were presented to the public yesterday, following a $26 million investment from the operator to upgrade facilities to cope with fast growth in the number of passengers.

More than 10,000 square metres have been added to the existing passenger terminal, with some areas undergoing full renovation.

Meanwhile, the extended arrivals hall has been fitted with two new conveyor belts, while the domestic departure concourse was expanded and given two additional boarding gates.

“With its modular design, the lounge can conveniently be converted to cater to international passengers in case of operational needs, especially to ease flows at the departure lounges,” said a spokesman for Cambodia Airports, the company that manages Cambodia’s international airports.

There are now six new shopping locations and 11 local and international food outlets. There is also a new tourism office.

Nicolas Notebaert, the chairman of Vinci Airports – a company that operates 25 airports in France, Portugal, Cambodia and Chile – said the recent overhaul is a direct response to the rapid rise in passenger traffic and seeks to upgrade facilities to match international standards.

Mr Notebaert said that during the third quarter of 2017 the number of passengers passing through the airport increased by more than 25 percent quarter-on-quarter. He expected four million passengers by the end of 2017.

“The three international airports in Cambodia could welcome more than seven million passengers in 2020,” he said. “The newly upgraded infrastructure will help us reach this goal and further connect Cambodia to the world.”

Mao Havanall, a secretary of state at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said Cambodia is slowly becoming an aviation and tourism hub in the region.

“Public and private cooperation in developing infrastructure has opened a new chapter for Phnom Penh International Airport to facilitate the growth of passenger arrivals though air by ensuring the security and safety of the people,” Mr Havanall said.

Thourn Sinan, the chairman of the Pacific Area Travel Association, applauded the new additions to the airport, but added that Cambodia’s aviation industry is still lagging far behind those of Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, and that more efforts needs to go into improving facilities across the nation’s international airports.

He also stressed the need for developing new tourism products to diversify the local tourism industry, attract more international travellers and fulfill the country’s immense potential in the sector.

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