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France deal to give aviation a lift

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall (front left) and Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD) director Ophelie Bourhis (front right) at the signing ceremony on Tuesday. SSCA

France deal to give aviation a lift

Cambodia and France on November 2 signed an agreement to provide technical assistance for the Civil Aviation Capacity Building Project, to improve and bolster airport security and the overall environment, and further enhance the allure of the Kingdom to travellers.

The deal was penned at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) by its head Mao Havannall and Ophelie Bourhis, director of the Agence Francaise de Developpement (AFD), the development arm of the French government.

The ceremony was also attended by Damien Caze, chief of the SSCA’s French counterpart, the Directorate General for Civil Aviation (DGAC).

The French government will provide €450,000 ($520,000) in grants to implement a capacity building project for the Cambodian civil aviation sector, the SSCA said in a press release obtained by The Post on November 3.

The project aims to assist the SSCA in the implementation of aviation safety regulations and strengthen safety and other environmental aspects in the Kingdom’s airports.

The programme focuses on four priority tasks – strengthening airport security; strengthening airport management; providing training and capacity building on airport technical maintenance; and providing training and capacity building on aviation medical matters.

Havannall believes that the agreement will adequately meet the needs and priority tasks of the SSCA.

“Today’s signing ceremony is a testament to show the long and fruitful relationship between the Royal Government of Cambodia and the Government of the French Republic, as well as the good cooperation between the civil aviation authorities of both countries,” he said.

SSCA spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha told The Post on November 3 that this was not the first time France has provided assistance to Cambodia, especially within the framework of cooperation between the two countries’ civil aviation authorities.

“Since 1999, the [SSCA and DGAC] have signed a number of technical assistance agreements to implement projects such as capacity building projects through the provision of short-term and long-term [training] to the technical officials of the SSCA.

“[Other deals have involved] providing short-term and long-term expertise to help prepare technical regulations and guidelines for civil aviation, as well as assistance in studies and analyses of economic impacts on the air transport sector of the Kingdom of Cambodia.

“These collaborations show the continued commitment to forging a stronger partnership” between the Cambodian and French governments, Chansereyvutha said.

Late in June, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth said the French government had promised to expand the amount of concessional loans to €100-120 million a year, through AFD.

Last year, AFD made a total €12.1 billion in new commitments for development projects worldwide.

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