Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Committee to decide site of new Phnom Penh airport

Committee to decide site of new Phnom Penh airport

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
The Cambodian government has decided to form a committee to organise the site of the construction project for a new international airport. CAMBODIA ANGKOR AIR

Committee to decide site of new Phnom Penh airport

The government has announced it will form a committee in preparation for the construction of a new international airport in Kandal province, a step forward in the project following the government’s approval of Cambodia Airport Investment Co Ltd’s proposal in December 2017.

According to the government’s letter, signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on Monday, Minister of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction Chea Sophara is appointed as committee chairman and Mao Havanall, the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) minister, is vice-chairman. The committee consists of 21 members, with Kandal provincial governor Mao Phirun the sole permanent member.

The letter did not specify the exact location of the new airport, but committee members on Thursday confirmed that the location is likely Kandal province’s Kandal Stung district, where the government on December 2017 approved an investment proposal from Cambodia Airport Investment to build a $1.5 billion 2,600ha airport.

Cambodia Airport Investment is a joint venture between local conglomerate Overseas Cambodia Investment Corporation (OCIC) and the Cambodian state-owned SSCA. OCIC will own 90 per cent of the shares with the rest going to SSCA.

Committee functions include inspection and determination of the new airport’s location site, land price evaluation, land issue settlement facilitation and coordination with relevant ministries to implement the project.

Other duties include recommending the company to fill out various forms to meet project implementation requirements, reviewing and commenting on the project’s master plan, as well as other suggestions of the company.

Committee chairman Chea Sophara and ministry spokesman Seng Lot, who is also a committee member, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.

Possible land disputes?

An SSCA official who asked not to be named on Thursday said among many issues, the committee was formed with the priority of dealing with land issues.

He added that after news about the development of the new airport was released early last year, people encroached on the land, while others bought land nearby in speculation of a price hike, hindering the project’s implementation.

“It could become a sensitive issue. The committee needs to be formed to solve land issues,” he said.

Kandal provincial governor Phirun on Thursday said the plan for Kandal Stung district’s 2,600ha airport is in part state-owned, company-owned and owned by individuals. Admitting that there were land dispute issues, he said they were not a major issue.

“The project’s implementation will not see any serious issues relating to land disputes because we have dealt with almost all of the big issues,” Phirun told The Post on Thursday.

“The authorities’ duties are to facilitate and help in the preparation of the regulatory framework and provide comments for the company and citizens to successfully start off the project.”

Phirun could not give an estimate of the project’s duration, but said the committee chair will organise a meeting after the committee’s formation. The action plan will then be defined through the government’s targets.

Cambodian Valuers and Estate Agents Association president Chrek Soknim on Thursday said land at the project site is mostly unused land or lake area. He added that land prices have been gradually increasing since last year after news related to the new airport was released.

“If the project of this new airport materialises, land prices will increase further,” he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Investors’ $14.4M projects approved

    New investments from local and foreign sources continue to pour into Cambodia despite the Covid-19 pandemic remaining a lingering threat to regional and global economies. This comes as the Kingdom’s gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to contract between one and 2.9 per cent this

  • NagaWorld casinos set to reopen, schools to follow

    NAGACORP Ltd has requested that it be allowed to reopen its NagaWorld integrated resorts in Phnom Penh after the government recently approved casinos to operate again, provided they follow Covid-19 prevention measures set by the Ministry of Health. Mey Vann, the director-general of the Ministry

  • Rubber exports stretch 17%

    Cambodia exported 97,175 tonnes of natural rubber in the first five months of this year, surging 17 per cent compared to the same period last year as the Covid-19 pandemic stretches on, Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries official Khuong Phalla told The Post on Thursday. Phalla,

  • ASEM supports Kingdom’s proposal to postpone meeting amid Covid

    The 13th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) scheduled to be held in Cambodia in November has been postponed until mid-2021 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation press statement released on Saturday said. The decision was made during a two-day meeting

  • Coffee maker roasted for producing fake product

    The Ministry of Interior’s Counter Counterfeit Committee will send a suspect to court on Monday after she allegedly roasted coffee mixed with soybeans and other ingredients, creating a product which could pose a high risk to consumers’ health. On the afternoon of July 2, the

  • Cash handout programme 80% complete

    Minister of Social Affairs, Veterans and Youth Rehabilitation Vong Soth confirmed on Thursday that the implementation of the Cash Transfer Programme For Poor and Vulnerable Households During Covid-19 had been implemented for more than 80% of the over 560,000 families. The programme was introduced one week ago.

  • Cambodia armed with money laundering laws

    Money laundering will now carry a penalty of up to five years in prison while those convicted of financing terrorists will be jailed for up to 20 years, according to new laws promulgated by King Norodom Sihamoni and seen by The Post on Thursday. Comprising nine

  • Where is Cambodia’s exit strategy that can save the economy?

    With the prospect of being slammed by a double whammy, the government is working on an economic recovery plan to deliver it from Covid-19 and the EU’s partial withdrawal of the Everything But Arms scheme in the next two to three years Cambodia is

  • Schools to be reopened in ‘three stages’

    With guidance from Prime Minister Hun Sen, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport, is in the process of reopening schools in three stages. But no timeline has been set, ministry spokesperson Ros Soveacha said on Thursday. Soveacha said the first stage will be to

  • Thai border crossings eased

    The Cambodian Embassy in Thailand said in an announcement on Wednesday that Thailand’s government has allowed certain passengers from several countries to enter its borders. The visitors must go back to their country immediately after their duties in Thailand are fulfilled, the embassy said.