Chinese Company Brought On Board For New Siem Reap Airport

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Cambodia Airports, which is majority owned by France’s Vinci Group, recently invested $100 million into upgrading its terminals in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap (pictured).

Plans for the construction of a brand new $880 million airport to serve the major tourist hub of Siem Reap are close to being finalised between the Cambodian government and China’s state-run Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd, who agreed to an exclusive 55-year build, operate, transfer concession back in October.

In the meantime, the government say they are ready to move forward with negotiations on compensation for French-owned Cambodia Airports, who have an existing concession on the Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville airports which was set to expire in 2040.

A government decree issued in December called for the formation of an eight-person committee to lead compensation talks. “Until now we still have not heard anything from [Cambodia Airports,]” said senior minister Yim Nola, who heads the committee. “They might need more time to study their proposal for the compensation amount.”

Sin Chanserey Vutha, a spokesman for local regulator State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said it remained unclear as to the role the existing airport would play in the future. “In my view, the current airport could be used for domestic flights, but if that is not the case, it will have to shut down its operation,” he said.

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