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VINCI Airports Sets 2026 Completion for Sihanoukville Airport Expansion

by Surya Narayan
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VINCI Airports, the French entity engaged in the development of Cambodia’s aviation infrastructure, has earmarked 2026 as the completion year for the terminal expansion at Sihanoukville International Airport, identifiable by its IATA code ‘KOS’. This announcement was made by Emmanuel Menanteau, the Regional Director of VINCI Airports, during a meeting with Sun Chanthol, the Deputy Prime Minister and First Vice Chairman of the Council for the Development of Cambodia, as per a CDC statement on February 1.

Menanteau highlighted the ongoing development efforts and solicited the Deputy Prime Minister’s backing for the investment initiatives surrounding the nation’s airport projects. With a presence in Cambodia spanning roughly a quarter of a century, VINCI Airports operates three significant airports in the country, including Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, and Sihanoukville International Airport.

A subsidiary of the expansive VINCI Group, VINCI Airports is part of a larger conglomerate that invests in a wide range of concession projects encompassing highways, railways, construction, transport infrastructure, and energy services.

Situated 20 kilometers east of Sihanoukville city, Sihanouk International Airport stands as Cambodia’s third major international gateway. The airport’s capacity enhancement was notably advanced in 2019 when Cambodia Airports extended its runway from 2,500 meters to 3,300 meters to accommodate larger, long-haul aircraft.

The positive trajectory of Cambodia’s aviation sector is reflected in the handling of 4.11 million air passengers between January and October 2023, marking a 144 percent increase year-on-year, as reported by the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation. Furthermore, the Ministry of Tourism’s data reveals a significant upsurge in international visitors to Cambodia, with 5.43 million arrivals in 2023, representing a 139 percent increase from the previous year.

The surge in airport-based foreign tourist arrivals, which saw a 135 percent year-on-year increase, has been attributed to enhanced airport infrastructure and expanded air connections. According to Top Sopheak, a spokesperson for the Ministry of Tourism, the increase in direct international flights, the introduction of new air routes, and the inauguration of a new airport in Siem Reap province have collectively facilitated easier access for travelers to Cambodia.

Source: Khmer Times

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