Cambodia International Airports received 3.5 million travellers in the first five months of 2017, up 22% on the same period last year.
According to Mao Havannal, secretary of state for Civil Aviation, the aviation industry carried 25,000 tonnes of cargo with an average growth rate of 40%.
“We have 37 foreign airline companies, of which 33 operated passenger services and four carry cargo. One airline does both,” he said. “The growing number of passengers is due to political stability and economic growth, as well as the favourable touristic destinations.”
A study by the International Aviation Transport Association showed that in 2015 Cambodian civil aviation injected about $940m into the country’s GDP and created 174,000 jobs for Cambodians.
Separately, Cambodia will be able to have a new international airport after 2020, depending on the number of passengers passing through the Phnom Penh International Airport.
“The growth of airline companies is incredible,” Mr Havannal said. “We need to study the issues surrounding the landing of all kinds of aircraft. The government and the Cambodian airport are thinking about studies on the development of a new airport and when and where to build it- Phnom Penh International Airport alone cannot handle more than four million passengers per year,” he continued. “By 2020 there will be five million passengers. The airport terminal is to be expanded to serve the number and new terminal will be soon complete.”
Ho Vendee, the secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said that a few years ago the government created an open skies policies to attract investors and as well as tourists, and make the investment environment more favourable.
“When we have direct flights from other countries, it saves time and money for passengers from the flights,” he said. “To attract more tourists, we have to strengthen service, food quality and transportation to meet their demand.”
Passenger traffic at the kingdom’s three international airports soared by 8.5% last year compared with 2015, according to official data from Cambodia Airports, the company authorised to manage the airports.
This article was originally published in the Khmer Times.