Land Earmarked For Mondulkiri’s New Airport

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Mondulkiri authorities have selected an area for the development of the province’s new airport, an official of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation said.

A picture taken near Sen Monorom, the capital of Mondulkiri province. If the feasibility study for the project is approved, Mondulkiri will have a new airport. Supplied

A plot of land consisting of 300 hectares and located in O’Raing district has been chosen by local authorities for the development of a domestic airport, said Sin Chanserey Vutha, spokesman for SSCA. This plot will now be submitted to the government for approval. If given a green light, a feasibility study will follow.

“Mondulkiri authorities have submitted the parcel they have chosen for the project but construction has not begun,” Mr Vutha said.

Officials are now working to identify the plot’s boundaries, he said.

An airport project in the country’s Northeast (in Ratanakkiri or Mondulkiri province) was announced earlier this year, with authorities saying its main goal would be to facilitate travel for tourists and to turn the Northeast into one of the country’s major economic hubs.

Mr Vutha said domestic airports generally have runways that are no longer than 1,800 metres.

“It is early to say whether this project will go forward or not. It is part of the master plan but we still need to do a feasibility study,” Mr Vutha said.

The project is already included in a master plan that is now being drafted at the ministry level. This master plan aims to act as a blueprint for the development of the tourism sector and one of its goals is to establish new tourism products in the Northeast, a region known for its ecotourism, said ministry spokesman Top Sopheak.

“A component of our tourism development policy is to build airports to facilitate travel for tourists,” Mr Sopheak said.

Cambodia has three international airports, in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Preah Sihanouk.

A Chinese company is building in Koh Kong’s Botum Sakor district what will become Cambodia’s fourth international airfield.

Last year, the three international airports handled a combined 10.5 million passengers, a 20 percent year-on-year increase.

This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.