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PM speaks on development of old airport in Battambang

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times No Comments Share:
Battambang airport terminal. Abandoned but may get a new lease of life. CNE

Government plans to rebuild the abandoned domestic airport in Battambang province will happen soon, said Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia, in a speech at the 6th River Festival in Battambang province on Saturday.

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Mr Hun Sen asked local authorities to inform local residents not to build any high-rise buildings near the abandoned airport that may affect future development plans for the hub.

He said demand for it will soar so the local authorities need to conduct studies.

When people have better living standards, that is the time when more vehicles of all sorts will be in use, Mr Hun Sen said.

He encouraged the building of necessary infrastructure serving the tourism sector including the airport, railway, roads, clean water, electricity, hotels and resorts linking all areas.

First opened in 1968, Battambang Airport was once the Kingdom’s busiest but its fortunes took a downward turn in 1975 when the Khmer Rouge came to power.

The small airfield was reopened and used for civilian aircraft until the end of the 1990s, but it never returned to full operational status.

The airport is three kilometers from the city centere in Battambang. It has a total land area of 128.68 hectares. The runway length is slightly more than 1,600 metres with a width of 34 metres.

The Ministry of Tourism says Battambang has untapped potential as a tourist attraction, with increasing numbers of domestic and local visitors.

“When National Road No 5 is completed, it will increase tourist numbers from other places to Battambang, particularly if the abandoned airport is reopened. It will help travelling and tourists a lot,” Soeum Ratha, owner of Holiday Guesthouse, in Battambang city, said.

 

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