Construction works on the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport continue to face delays due to logistics and supply chain issues stemming from the Covid-19 pandemic, as the project reaches a mere 27 per cent completion against a planned March 2023 opening.
State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) spokesman and undersecretary of state Sin Chansereyvutha told The Post on May 24 that the construction of the new airport, located southeast of downtown Siem Reap, has been slowed due to the spread of Covid-19, which has caused the company’s technicians and specialists to have difficulty travelling in and out of the site, and created bottlenecks in the supply chain and logistics.
Despite the logistics delays, however, the spokesperson confirmed that the company overseeing the project has not yet announced a rescheduled date for the completion of construction, nor the initial “test run” of the airport.
“The company plans to complete construction on March 30, 2023, and the first test run in October 2023 remains unchanged. In the case of a change, the construction company will notify the SSCA, but construction is currently underway as usual,” he said, and insisted that the project was facing “just minor problems”.
Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia chapter chairman Thourn Sinan said that the Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport could become a regional air travel hub as it is much larger in size than the airport it is replacing, and said that the new facility would prove a boon to all sectors in the province, especially tourism.
He speculated that the construction of the new airport may lead to the building of new towns surrounding Siem Reap so as to ease the influx of more Cambodians calling the province home, as well as to more evenly redistribute the local population as the old city becomes increasingly crowded.
The 700.06ha Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is a project of Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) Co Ltd, with capital investment of $880 million. It will reportedly be able to receive about seven million passengers per year initially, 10 million by 2030, and 20 million by 2050.
Similarly, annual cargo capacity is also expected to rise from 10,000 tonnes initially to 60,000 tonnes by 2050.