Cambodia requests help to improve aviation sector

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
A Lanmei Airlines aircraft parked on the tarmac at Siem Reap International Airport. KT/Khem Sovannara

Cambodia has solicited the assistance of Korea and several other countries to improve its aviation sector.

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This week, Minister of Aviation Mao Havanall met with Park Sun-ho, Korea’s deputy minister for infrastructure and transport, to discuss possible areas of cooperation.

During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the 7th Global Infrastructure Cooperation Conference in Seoul, Mr Havanall asked the Koreans to assist in several areas, including improving the Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC), according to a post on the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation’s official Facebook page.

CATC is mainly used to train personnel responsible for air traffic control and airport security. It was established two years ago with assistance from the Korea International Cooperation Agency (Koica).

In the same meeting, Cambodia also asked Korea to provide technical assistance to adopt the latest safety management systems.

Likewise, Mr Havanall asked Korea to increase the number of flights between the two countries to boost the tourism sector, noting that the number of Korean tourists visiting Cambodia has decreased slightly in recent months.

“We hope to strengthen cooperation between the two countries and that Cambodia can learn from Korea,” SSCA said.

The post noted that Korea’s aviation sector is one of the best and fastest-growing in Asia. The country is known to have well-equipped airports and other aviation facilities manned by highly-trained personnel. Incheon International Airport, Korea’s largest, has been named ‘Best Airport in the World’ several times.

Last week, Mr Havanall and other aviation officials travel to Beijing to meet with Chinese aviation authorities led by Feng Zhenglin, head of the Civil Aviation Administration of China.

According to SSCA, the two parties agreed to strengthen cooperation and share information on airport construction and the development of their aviation industries.

In the meeting, Cambodia asked China to provide training to workers engaged in capacity building, airport construction, and airport security.

Before traveling to China, Mr Havanall held a meeting with Tina Redshaw, the Ambassador of the United Kingdom to Cambodia. During that meeting, the Minister asked the British envoy to consider providing technical assistance in the form of short, medium, and long-term training for aviation personnel.

Earlier this year, France agreed to set up a civil aviation training school and an aircraft repair and maintenance facility in Cambodia.

Since Cambodia emerged from its civil war, its aviation sector has grown by leaps and bounds. However, just like other developing countries, it still faces a lot of problems that beset the aviation industry and jeopardise safety.

In addition to inadequate facilities, the local aviation industry lacks qualified personnel to man air traffic control and other critical facilities.

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