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Crowded skies ahead

Crowded skies ahead

Cambodia’s aviation sector is gearing up for another big year, with tourist traffic growing and at least half a dozen carriers looking to register for a limited number operating permits.

Keo Sivorn, director-general of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA), said the agency is reviewing the documentation of two airlines that have applied for air operator’s certificates (AOCs), while another two airlines have received preliminary government approval and are expected to file for operating permits soon. In addition, at least two more airlines are reportedly considering establishing local operations.

“We are now reviewing the AOC applications of Lan Mei Airlines and JC Airlines,” he said yesterday. “To receive an AOC, the airlines must prove they have sufficient capacity for flight operations and human resources, as well as correct documentation.”

Sivorn said that as a member of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), Cambodia only had the time and resources to approve two to three AOCs per year. “ICAO audits us annually, so we must strictly and carefully follow international aviation regulations,” he said.

According to Ministry of Tourism data, more than 2.1 million tourists arrived in Cambodia by air during the first 10 months of 2016, a 7.3 percent increase over the previous year.

Cambodia is currently served by 32 international airlines and has four domestic carriers, according to Sivorn.

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