The Cambodian government has established Security Aviation Kampuchea Co Ltd (SAKAM), a joint venture company to provide aviation security service in all the airports following a public-private partnership (PPP) between the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) and Swiss-owned Albans Management SA on Sept 1.

The partnership, which gives rise to a 15-year build-operate-transfer (BOT) concession held by Albans Management via SAKAM, is in accordance with the 2021 PPP law.

It would create a huge potential for Cambodia to attract new airlines and increase passenger and freight flights, as well as raise national revenue and add value to airport services.

The partnership also sees the setting up of a professional dog training centre for ASEAN, which is expected to promote national pride, create global recognition and reputation in terms of advanced aviation security services.

SSCA minister-in-charge Mao Havanall, who signed on behalf of the state with Albans Management CEO Raphael Albaladejo in Phnom Penh, said Albans Management has been working closely to comply with procedures, conditions and requirements.

These are in accordance with the guidelines to ensure quality improvement, risk management, modernisation, human resource development, and increasing and generating revenue in an innovative and inclusive manner.

“To become a prosperous country in the region, private sector investment is a priority and an important component in contributing to socio-economic development and to promote the civil aviation sector.

“This is by improving the quality of aviation security services in line with international standards and meeting the requirements of the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) and the International Air Transport Association (IATA),” Havanall said.

The contract stipulates that Albans Management would build (design, construct and provide professional training and financing), operate (maintenance, upgrade quality, improve and modernise) and transfer after the 15-year concession period ends.

From Sept 1 though, Albans Management via SAKAM would have exclusive rights to provide aviation security services at the Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap Angkor International Airport, Sihanoukville International Airport, Dara Sakor International Airport, and other airports as required at the actual demand in the future.

“By complying with ICAO and IATA standards and requirements, Cambodia has the opportunity and advantage to attract new airlines and increase passengers and freight flights.

“This also includes increased tourism activities, business growth and credibility in line with the government’s Pentagonal Strateg y comprising growth, employment, equity, efficiency and sustainability,” Havanall said.

Meanwhile, SSCA shared that Cambodia’s three international airports handled 24,725 domestic and international flights in the first half of 2023, up 147.7 per cent compared to the same period last year.

The flights saw a 270 per cent increase in passengers from a year ago at 2.5 million passengers, although cargoes fell 17.9 per cent to 24,616 tonnes compared to the January to June period in 2022.

Between January and July this year, the Ministry of Tourism recorded over three million foreign visitors, up 308.5 per cent from 743,459 foreign visitors in the same period in 2022.