A project to build Poipet’s first airport has been greenlighted by the government, with total investment estimated at $40 to $50 million, according to the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation.
Aiming to capitalise on the rising number of tourists in a province that is industrialising quickly, the new airport will be built on more than 100 hectares in Banteay Meanchey’s Poipet, in the border with Thailand.
The project has been submitted by Poipet Airport Investment, a locally-owned entity, said Chanserey Vutha, spokesman for SSCA.
“The government approved the airport in Poipet back in May. Actually, the company got permission to build the airport in 2007. They now want to start building, so they were required to submit the project for approval once again.
“The company already owns the land. From what we know, they have a strong financial position so we are sure they have the resources to complete the project.
“This is an interesting project because Poipet has great potential not only as a tourism destination, but also as a commercial and investment hub. We have a lot of special economic zones in the province,” he said.
Oum Reatrey, deputy governor of Banteay Meanchey province, told Khmer Times, however, that he is yet to receive any information from the government regarding the airport project.
“Here at the provincial level, we haven’t seen any documentation regarding this investment,” he said.
“However, we do welcome such project as it would improve transportation from Phnom Penh and Preah Sihanouk province for investors and businesspeople in the province,” he said.
Mr Reatrey explained that Banteay Meanchey now has four special economic zones and one industrial park, with most tenants hailing from Japan.
Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said the new infrastructure will allow more gamblers to visit the province.
“I believe the airport is a great idea because it will reduce transportation times for those that want to come to Poipet for gambling.
“Not only that, but, because of its proximity to Thailand, the province is of great interest for companies and investors. The new airport will allow businesspeople to travel from Thailand to Poipet in less than 30 minutes,” he added.
According to SSCA’s Mr Vutha, it will take 3 to 5 years to finish construction, with the airport serving only domestic flights, but boasting the capacity to handle Boeing 731 and Airbus 320 aircraft.
“From what we heard, the company will spend 2019 planning and designing the airport, with construction beginning in 2020,” he added.