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Feature: Work on Chinese-built airport for Cambodian capital in full swing, with operations expected by mid-2025

Updated: March 13, 2024 Source: Xinhua News Agency
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KANDAL, Cambodia, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Robed in a high-vis vest and crowned with a white hard hat, Cambodian site engineer El Sethsovatha is proud and delighted to work with a Chinese company to develop a new airport for the Cambodian capital.

Graduated from Phnom Penh-based National Technical Training Institute with a major in civil engineering, the 30-year-old joined the China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd. to build the 4F-class Techo International Airport in July 2020.

Sethsovatha said working on such a huge project has not only given him invaluable experience, but also made him feel proud of having contributed to the construction of a landmark airport for Cambodia.

"I am really proud and delighted to work here because it is a very big airport in Cambodia, and gives me a lot of experience and techniques," he told Xinhua on Tuesday.

He said in the near future, the construction will be completed and one will see airplanes landing and taking off at this world-class airport.

"I think this airport will help attract large aircraft, with tourists and business people from different countries around the world to Cambodia," he said. "It will inject vigorous momentum into our economic growth in the long term, as a lot of jobs will be generated for our local people."

Ou Chanrathana, a 31-year-old claims manager at the Techo International Airport project, said the project will improve the image of the civil aviation industry in the Southeast Asian country.

"For Cambodia, this airport is crucial because it will not only raise our country's profile, but also contribute to boosting our national economy and tourism, among others," he told Xinhua.

Chey Eneang, a 23-year-old employee at the Techo International Airport project, said Cambodian people will greatly benefit from this international standard airport.

"This new airport is very important for Cambodia because it will give a boost to our economic growth, tourism and job creation for our Cambodian people," he said.

Invested by Cambodia Airport Investment Co., Ltd, the 1.5-billion-U.S.-dollar airport is being constructed on an area of 2,600 hectares in southern Kandal and Takeo provinces, about 20 km from the capital Phnom Penh.

Work on the airport project began in June 2020.

Jin Wei, executive manager of the Techo International Airport project for China State Construction Engineering Corporation Ltd., said the project has employed over 4,000 local Cambodian workers.

"The Techo International Airport is a high-grade airport, achieving 4F class," he told Xinhua. "Once completed, this airport will bring significant benefits to Cambodia's aviation and tourism development."

"As a builder of airports, I hope we can provide strong assistance to Cambodia's airport and infrastructure development," Jin added.

Speaking during a visit to the project site on Tuesday, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Manet praised the company for making steady progress in its construction work, even during the COVID-19 pandemic era.

He said that so far, about 66.1 percent of the total work had been achieved, costing a total of 961 million dollars.

"Next year, this airport will be put into commercial operations, and it will be the largest airport in Cambodia," Hun Manet said.

"This airport will provide tremendous benefits to the people of Cambodia in the long run, creating a lot of jobs for them," he said. "It will be a catalyst for Cambodia's economic growth, tourism and logistics development."

Mao Havannall, minister in charge of Cambodia's State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said when the construction is completed, the Techo International Airport will become the main gateway for international passengers to Cambodia.

"The 4F-class Techo International Airport in the first phase will be officially put into operations in the first half of 2025," he said.

Havannall said the airport will be capable of handling 13 million passengers a year in the first phase, 30 million passengers in the second phase after 2030, and up to 50 million passengers in 2050 in the third phase.

Editor: Yang Linlin