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Chopper service set for Kirirom park

A helicopter flight route is being planned between Phnom Penh and the Kirirom National Park in Kampong Speu province to serve customers for a massive tourism and leisure development in the area.

Last weekend, Japanese firm A2A Group held a groundbreaking ceremony for its $340 million, 20-year development plan in Kirirom, which includes a hotel, shopping mall, boarding school and second homes for purchase or renting.

The helicopter to the planned town will be used to transport customers in case of emergencies and to better serve VIP clients, according to Chihiro Kurose, president office manager of A2A Town (Cambodia).

A2A said it has applied for the route to be approved by the Ministry of Environment, with Environment Minister Say Samal also attending the launch ceremony in Kirirom.

“The minister suggested expanding and maintaining the present heliport in Kirirom,” Kurose said.

Thon Molyka, sales manager at A2A Group, said that the company was in talks with Helistar, a helicopter charter firm in Cambodia, to fly regularly to the new town once or twice a week.

In A2A president Takeshi Izuka’s speech at the groundbreaking ceremony, the Japanese entrepreneur promised that A2A Town would have little environmental impact on Kirirom’s renowned pine forests.

“Kirirom is filled with pine tree that is similar to my hometown in Japan.

We must take care of the special environment of Kirirom [as] well,” he said.

Takeshi said he hoped to make Kirirom internationally recognisable, like Siem Reap, and for Cambodia to have a growth trajectory similar to that of Japan.

Ho Vandy, co-chair of the Government-Private Sector Working Group, said the Kirirom development held promise as it targeted the growing elderly population in Japan.

“This is the chance for the old people to purchase a quiet place,” he said.

A2A currently operates the vKirirom Pine Resort, and was granted 2,000 hectares of economic land concessions to develop the national park in 2011.

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