The international airport to be built in Koh Kong province will kick off construction in January next year, according to a spokesman from the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA).
Backed by Chinese-owned firm Tianjin Union Development Group (UDG), the airport will primarily serve the company’s coastal project – the Dara Sakor Seashore Resort, to be built on part of the 45,000 hectares of land commissioned to UDG by the Cambodian government – and other affiliated developments.
SSCA spokesman Sinn Chanserey Vutha told Post Property via phone that the airport development would be constructed in three phases, with phase one commencing in January 2018 at a projected cost of between $300 and $350 million.
While groundwork for construction has already been laid, the construction will still be held off, with Vutha citing the rainy season as the only obstruction. “The construction of the airport is progressing at a slow pace due to it being the rainy season, but the company has taken this opportunity to perfect the airport’s designs.”
Koh Kong will see its very own international airport materialise in the Botum Sakor district over a land plot of 750 hectares.
Vutha said that the airport would be able to receive medium-sized airplanes once phase one was completed over the course of the next two and a half years. However, there is no specific timeframe for phases two and three, as Vutha stated it would depend on how well the airport functioned after phase one’s completion.
The entire project, he said, is forecast to have a total investment of more than $500 million.
Because of the enormity of the entire UDG tourism project, which carries a projected price tag of $3.8 billion, the Ministry of Environment (MOE) has been tasked to oversee the airport’s environment impact studies. Nevertheless, head of the department of Environmental Impact Assessment at the MOE, Danh Serey, noted that the ministry has yet to receive reports from the environmental impact assessment company that UDG hired.
Meanwhile, Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning, and Construction spokesman Seng Lot said he was not privy to any information on the Koh Kong airport project, telling Post Property to contact the province’s governor.
However, Koh Kong is currently without a governor, with the new governor set to make a public appearance later this week.
Ho Vandy, advisor to the Cambodia Chamber of Commerce, pointed out the massive scale of not only the airport project, but the districts that have been commissioned to UDG. The 45,000 hectares of land encompass two districts – Botum Sakor and Thmor Bang. “This is a major investment for China,” he said.
He continued, “This is an incredibly costly investment, but this investment will help encourage air transportation to be more open.”
“This area is a connecting route between Trat province and Chan Boree province of Thailand, and Koh Kong province, which provides a great transportation route and helps make the commercial relationship between the two better.”