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France offers help to local civil aviation industry

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Employees at work in Phnom Penh International Airport. KT/Chor Sokunthea

The French government is offering technical and material assistance to the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) to improve the local aviation industry and make Cambodia’s skies safer for travellers.

Minister of Civil Aviation Mao Havanall met French Ambassador Eva Nguyen Binh earlier this week to discuss the offer and find ways of strengthening ties between SSCA and the French Civil Aviation Authority.

Also present during the meeting were Philippe Baudry, economic counsellor at the French Embassy, and other SSCA officials.

A post in the SSCA Facebook page mentions that the assistance will include improving civil aviation education and setting up a civil aviation training school and an aircraft repair and maintenance facility.

The civil aviation training school most likely will be used to train flight dispatchers, air traffic controllers, and other aviation professionals. It will complement the Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC) set up by Korea in 2017.

The aircraft repair facility will be a welcomed addition to the industry, as repair of Cambodia-based aircraft is often performed in other countries due to a lack of reliable facilities and skilled manpower here.

Mr Havanall thanked the French for the offer.

The United States, Korea and China, among others, have also extended assistance to the Kingdom’s civil aviation industry in the past.

Sinn Chanserey Vutha, spokesman for SSCA, confirmed the French offer to Khmer Times.

“The assistance would mostly be in the area of safety and security,” he stressed.

He said more details will be revealed after a fact-finding mission by the French, which will happen by the end of the year or early next year.

France has long been known as a leader in the aviation industry. The European country has produced some of the best aviation professionals in the world. It is also home to many top-of-the-line aircraft maintenance and repair centres.

While Cambodia’s civil aviation authorities are doing a good job, there is still much that needs to be done to improve the industry in terms of safety.

The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) has admonished Cambodia several times for failing to adhere to international security guidelines governing airports and other aviation-related facilities.

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