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Plans are to locate it around 20 kilometers from the provincial capital
PHNOM PENH—Mondulkiri Province has designated 600 hectares of land for an airport, provincial Governor Svay Sam Eang announced Thursday (July 16), adding that the current unused airport will become a park.
During a press conference held by the Royal Government Spokesperson Unit, Sam Eang said that the airport in Sen Monorom City—the province’s capital—is not operational at the present time and, with the city growing, it now is surrounded by a residential area that would prevent its expansion.
“We have had an airport since [the defeat of the Khmer Rouge in] 1979,” Sam Eang said. While there were less people living in Sen Monorom, having the airport at the current location was fine, he said. “But now, there are people in the area and the size of the airport is also small.”
The airport spreads over only 19 hectares, which is too small by today’s standards, Sam Eang said. So, it will become a park once the other airport is built, he added.
The new airport will be in Sen Monorom Commune, O’Raing District, which is roughly 19 to 22 kilometers from Sen Monorom City, Sam Eang explained.
The location was selected so that there will be land available for expanding its capacity if the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation decides to make it an international airport, he said.
“The provincial authorities are only responsible for protecting the land so that, when the government has the money to invest [to build it], there is land already,” he said. “Now we have demarcated the land, resolved the issues and are waiting for investment.”
As for the old airport becoming a park, Sam Eang said, “[t]he park will be built in phases depending on the budget. We have now gradually restored… Experts from the Ministry of Land Management have already studied the area in which some parts will be forest and some [reserved] for planting trees.”
According to a Fresh News’ report, the estimated cost for the new airport stands at around $60 million.
There currently are in the country three operating airports, which are located in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Province and Preah Sihanouk Province, respectively. In addition, three new airports are under construction in Kandal, Koh Kong and Siem Reap provinces.