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New capital international airport to employ 20,000

Sok Chan / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen, standing in front of artists’ impressions, pays an inspection visit to the construction site of the capital’s new international airport in Kandal province. KT/Khem Sovannara

Prime Minister Hun Sen confirmed yesterday that the current Phnom Penh International Airport will be used only for the head of state, heads of local governments and Cambodian senior leaders, as a military airbase, for domestic flights, private jets and for diplomatic officials and foreign leaders. The new international airport will employ 20,000 workers a day.

Speaking at the site visit at the new Phnom Penh International Airport yesterday, Mr Hun Sen said that although Cambodia will have a new airport in the capital in 2023, the current Phnom Penh International Airport will remain unchanged.

Mr Hun Sen said that Cambodia is building two new airports (Phnom Penh International Airport, and Siem Reap International Airport) at the same time, and has upgraded the Preah Sihanouk International Airport to welcome visitors on long haul flights. Preah Sihanouk International Airport now has a 3,200 metre runway.

“This airport (New Phnom Penh International Airport) and all construction must continue according to the plan. Its first phase will be completed by 2023. I asked the authority in Phnom Penh, Kandal and Takeo provinces to provide strong cooperation and help the company to achieve smooth airport construction and make it finished as planned,” Mr Hun Sen said.

Cambodia Airport Investment Co Ltd, a joint-venture between local conglomerate Overseas Cambodia Investment Corp (OCIC), owned by Neak Oknha Pung Kheiv Se, and the government’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, will develop the 2,600 hectares of the new Phnom Penh International Airport in Kandal Stueng district about 20 kilometres from the capital.

The new Phnom Penh International Airport is now 30 percent complete and will be able to accommodate Airbus A380-800s and Boeing 747-800s. The total investment of $1.5 billion will come from loans from foreign banks, $280 million from OCIC and $120 million in registration capital.

Pung Kheav Se, chairman of OCIC, said that the new Phnom Penh International Airport will divided into three phases of development with the first phase opened by 2023.

Construction of the capital’s new international airport is about 5 percent complete. KT/ Khem Sovanara

He said that so far the construction of the five-storey passenger terminal is 5 percent complete and will be ready by 2022. The 108-metre airplane control tower is also 5 percent complete and will be operational by 2022, as also will be the 4,000-metre runway, VIP terminal building, solid waste building, sewerage system, cargo warehouse, airplane petroleum station, firefighter station among other facilities.

“The investment cost of the new Phnom Penh International Airport is $1.5 billion which is not including the price of the land and it is expected to welcome 13 million passengers per year once it opens,” Mr Kheav Se said.

He said that the second phase will be finished in 2030, able to receive 30 million passengers a year, and the third phase will be completed by2050, when 50 million passengers per year could be received. He continued that, until now, the company has invested $120 million for consultation, design, land preparation and foundations of the airport. He added that construction will have cost $208 million by the end of 2020.

“So far, we have employed 1,102 workers, among whom 95 are foreign engineers and 110 are Khmer engineers. Employment will increase 20,000 per day when the construction is at full capacity. We will spend 1.5 million dollars per day starting from this July. All the investment fund is dependent solely on local funds therefore Cambodia Airport Investment Co Ltd will not damage this project,” he said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has praised the efforts of the consortium. He said the COVID-19 Pandemic cannot deter the development. “I take this opportunity to thank the construction commission of the airport and involved authorities including Takeo, Kandal and Phnom Penh to solve all the land issues,” he added.

“Although COVID-19 has affected tourism and industry, it cannot deter the infrastructure development – both private and public sector – in Cambodia. In the future, when the construction of the new airport in Phnom Penh starts full operation, it will employ 20,000 workers per day,” Mr Hun Sen said.

“I strongly believe that in 2023 we will open the new Phnom Penh International Airport, which will be able to welcome 13 million visitors. It is expected that when the new Phnom Penh International Airport is fully opened, Cambodia will be able to attract more international visitors and the investors to the Kingdom,” he added.

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