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Government unveils airport plans in the Northeast

Chea Vannak / Khmer Times Share:
Bou Sra Waterfall
People visit the Bou Sra Waterfall near Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri province. Photo Supplied

The government has announced plans to build a new airport in the northeastern province of Mondulkiri.

The project is included in a master plan that aims to establish new tourism products in the Northeast, a region known for its eco-tourism offer, according to the Ministry of Tourism.

A feasibility study on the project will be carried out in the near future, the ministry said, adding that the airport will handle domestic and international flights.

“The master plan is still being developed. We will probably finish it at the end of this year or early next year,” ministry spokesman Chuk Chumnor told Khmer Times yesterday.

“We want to build a new airport in Mondulkiri to link the Northeast to other provinces and connect with other destination in the region,” Mr Chumnor said.

He said that the location of the airport will be decided in cooperation with local and aviation authorities.
“We chose Mondulkiri province because the province is big and has great tourism potential. This does not mean that we are not considering other options,” he said, adding that the project may also be built in neighbouring Ratanakkiri.

Mondulkiri provincial governor Svay Sam Eang said, “We welcome the construction of this airport because it will attract more tourists and improve connectivity with other destinations around the country.

“Travelling to the province by road takes many hours, so we believe building an airport here will boost the number of Cambodian and international tourists,” he said.

Mr Sam Eang said the provincial authorities have already chosen a tentative location for the project – 300 hectares of land in Ou Raing district.

Prime Minister Hun Sen last month stressed the need for airports in the Northeast, which, he says, is becoming a major economic hub in the country.

“Phnom Penh needs a new airport, Siem Reap needs a new airport, and we are also looking to build an airport in the Northeast,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Cambodia now has three international airports – Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Preah Sihanouk. Another international airport, operated by a Chinese company, is being built in Koh Kong province’s Botum Sakor district.

Last year, the three international airports handled 10.5 million passengers, a 20 percent year-on-year increase.

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