The government has approved in principle the construction of a new domestic airport in Mondulkiri province under a public-private partnership (PPP). The approval was signed by the Council of Ministers’ Permanent Secretary of State Hing Thoraxy on New Year’s Eve.
A statement read that the government had chosen Powerchina as its partner in the project in principle, starting with the studying and development of the proposal for the construction of the airport.
The company will be repsonsible for all expenses of the feasibility study to be carried out by the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA).
The Council of Ministers has mandated the SSCA to lead and prepare a framework agreement with Powerchina International Group based on previous implementation procedures including the Phnom Penh-Sihanouk and Phnom Penh-Bavet Expressway projects.
The SSCA’s Undersecretary of State Sin Chansereyvutha said he could not give full details on the airport plans such as its starting date yet. He could also not speak to the total costs of the project at this juncture.
The government’s approval in principle will lead to more discussions with the company.
The agreement in principle is subject to a number of conditions. It is anticipated that the planning study process could take upwards of one year before the project is deemed ready for actual construction to start.
“We will talk more when we have a meeting. [That will happen] when we have a committee [in place] for the development of the new airport in Mondulkiri,” Chansereyvutha said.
Khmer Times reported in July 2020 that the new airport was scheduled to be built outside the province’s Sen Monorom city.
The old airport site was designated for renovation and development into a public park.
Mondulkiri Provincial Governor Svay Sam Eang said earlier this year that the authorities had chosen a 600 hectare site about 22 kilometres from Sen Monorom for the new airport.
He noted at a news conference held at the Office of Council of Ministers on July 16 of 2020 provincial authorities had marked the boundary for the new airport and given compensation to the affected people in the area and were waiting for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation to set a budget or find investment partners to build it.
The SSCA reported that from 2015 to 2023, total investment in new airports, infrastructure and airspace will be approximately $3.5 billion.
This article was first published in Khmer Times. All contents and images are copyright to their respective owners and sources.