The long-discussed regional-level airport in Mondulkiri province may break ground as soon as next year, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha.
Chansereyvutha told The Post that the airport in Mondulkiri will be built on a 300ha site with a capital investment of about $80 million.
And Mondulkiri provincial governor Svay Sam Eang previously told The Post that provincial authorities are demarcating a 600ha plot for the new airport some 22km south of Sen Monorom town in O’Raing district’s Sen Monorom commune.
Prime Minister Hun Sen on February 10 signed a resolution establishing an inter-ministerial committee to oversee the project, as an initial feasibility study conducted by SSCA nears completion.
The committee has been commissioned to spearhead talks on a framework agreement with Powerchina International Group Ltd (PIG) to implement the project and associated infrastructure works, according to the resolution.
It is also tasked with leading, assessing, evaluating and providing recommendations for studies concerning the project, as well as helming and negotiating public-private partnership agreements until final formal agreements are signed.
Chansereyvutha said the initial feasibility study would be completed by the end of the month and submitted to the government for approval. “We are currently carrying out the technicalities for the development of the new airport.”
After the study, SSCA and PIG will hammer out the terms of the concession agreement, he said, adding that it would likely take almost a year before the airport breaks ground.
In a December 31 letter, the Council of Ministers said the government had decided in principle to allow PIG to study and develop a proposal to build the project, adding that the Chinese company would have to foot the bill for the project’s initial feasibility study.
The letter was signed by the council’s permanent secretary of state Hing Thoraksy and addressed to the ministers of Economy and Finance; and Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, the SSCA and Mondulkiri provincial governor.
Cambodia currently operates three international airports – Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport and Sihanouk International Airports, which are owned by Cambodia Airports, a subsidiary of France’s VINCI Airports.
The Kingdom is also in the process of building two new international airports.
The new Siem Reap international airport is being built by Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) Co Ltd (AIAI) with capital investment of nearly $900 million and is scheduled to be completed next year.
Phase I of a 4F class airport that occupies 2,600ha in Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district (and slightly protruding into Takeo province’s northernmost Bati district) is scheduled to be completed by 2023 and will cost an estimated $1.5 billion to build.
The project will serve Phnom Penh and is developed by Cambodia Airport Investment Co Ltd, a joint venture 90 per cent owned by Overseas Cambodian Investment Corp Ltd (OCIC), one of the Kingdom’s largest real estate developers, and 10 per cent by SSCA.