Phnom Penh (FN), July 20 – A senior official from the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) said the Royal Government of Cambodia planned to build a new international airport, residing 50km away from Phnom Penh due to the fact that Phnom Penh International Airport (PPIA) could not expand more capacity.

SCAS's spokesperson Sin Chan Sereivutha told Fresh News today July 20, 2016 that due to growing number of air travelers from one year to another and that the PPIA could not expand more capacity to accommodate passengers by 2025, in addition to the issue of traffic congestion, the Government is thinking of building a new airport.

Anyway, the official cannot say where the new location will be nor could he say which airport construction firm would be contracted, explaining that the project is yet in a government’s development policy. Learning of the government’s plan to build a new airport, the current French airport development firm that receives an investment license from the government has hired a hired a number of specialists to conduct a study of where the location should be so that negative environmental and social impacts could be kept minimal.

As far as the airfield in Kompong Chnang is concerned, Mr. Sereivutha said it was also in the consideration. However, he said, in theory, an airport should not be farther than 50 km from the capital city since it will be costly for supporting infrastructure, and the airfield in Kampong Chnang is 80km from Phnom Penh.

Cambodia currently has three international airports; in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanouk Ville. The newly renovated and expanded passenger terminals of Phnom Penh International Airport have just been inaugurated and operation in 2016 with the accommodation capacity of 5 million people.

According to the Ministry of Tourism, there are 1.1 million air travelers to Cambodia in the last five months from Jan-May, 2016.