Cambodia’s New And Largest Airport To Open By 2023
May 15, 2020

Cambodia shows confidence in a revival of international tourism after the coronavirus pandemic subsides and sticks to plans to open a new airport, the largest in the country so far.

The airport is currently being built for $880 million near the historical site of Angkor Wat in the country’s northwestern region close to the town of Siem Reap and is expected to be completed in three years.

Construction of what will be called Siem Reap Angkor International Airport began in March this year by developer and construction company Angkor International Airport Investment (AIAI).

The company said that the new airport will be located 51 kilometers southeast of Siem Reap and 40 kilometers from Angkor Archaeological Park, covering an area of around 700 hectares. It will replace the existing Siem Reap Airport northeast of the city which currently handles about four million passengers per year.

AIAI is a China-backed company that operates under Chinese state-run Yunnan Investment Holdings Ltd and signed a 55-year concession with the Cambodian government for the new airport in 2017.

Total capacity of ten million passengers annually

Once the first phase of the new airport is completed, the airport is expected to receive seven million passengers annually, expected to boost tourism of the province and with it Cambodia’s economy, for which tourism is among the pillar industries.

Yunnan Investment Holdings plans to develop the airport in three stages, with the airport capable of handling Boeing 737 and A320 aircraft following completion of the second stage. At full operations, the airport will be having a maximum handling capacity of ten million passengers per year.

The airport is the company’s first overseas airport project and is considered part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative to expand into overseas markets.

In comparison, Cambodia’s currently largest airport in Phnom Penh has a capacity to handle five million passengers annually.