Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese leaders would jointly participate in the official opening of the new Chinese-invested Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport on December 1.
The airport symbolises a new page in the history of Cambodian aviation, which will be able to welcome long-distance flights to the home of the ancient Angkor temples in Siem Reap.
Sinn Chanserey Vutha, undersecretary of state and spokesman of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, told The Post on September 27 that prior to the opening, airport concessionaire Angkor International Airport Investment (Cambodia) Co Ltd (AIAI) would conduct a final airport flight demonstration at the new airport on October 5 in order to demonstrate the ability to manage the entire operation of the new airport. This is followed by a soft opening of the airport with the inaugural operation of flights on October 16 before the official opening in December.
“The airport flight demonstration is to confirm the smooth operation and overall management of the new airport. On that day, there will be [a run through of] various procedures including passengers check-in, boarding, as well as testing equipment to make sure all trips are safe. On December 1, Siem Reap Angkor International Airport will be officially inaugurated by Prime Minister Hun Manet and Chinese leaders,” he said.
Meanwhile, Minister-in-charge of SSCA Mao Havannall would preside over the October 16 soft launch of the airport with a representative of AIAI and relevant institutions where they would welcome the first commercial flight.
Cambodia Association of Travel Agents president Chhay Sivlin, who toured the airport late July, was enthusiastic about the airport’s potential benefits for tourism in the Kingdom.
“We possess a robust infrastructure. The task at hand is to enhance service quality and broaden tourist attractions. Not only do tourists crave fresh experiences alongside their journey, they also seek high quality accommodation, food and travel agents. These are areas we need to perfect after the inauguration of this magnificent airport,” she said.
Earlier this year, AIAI disclosed that the gross investment figure for the project had been revised up to $1.1 billion in 2022 from $880 million in 2019.
According to earlier accounts, the latter amount had been earmarked for all phases of the airport, with $500 million to be spent on the first and second phases. The project is a joint venture by Yunnan Investment Group (76.6%), Yunnan Construction Group (20%) and Yunnan Airport Group (3.4%).
In a July 9 interview with the Post, Chanserey Vutha said the Code-4E airport would have 38 gates and be able to handle large passenger planes like the Airbus A-340-300 and A350-900, as well as the Boeing B777-200/300ER and B747-300/400.