A traditional Khmer blessing ceremony held today (13 October) marked the completion of the extension and renovation of the runway and its coming commissioning at Sihanouk International Airport. The international airport serving Cambodia’s main seaside resort and port city enters a new development phase. The runway has been fully upgraded including its extension to 3,300 metres from 2,500 metres, the strengthening of the current airstrip, and the installation of a LED airfield lighting system to reduce the carbon footprint. The commissioning of the runway, a US$58 million investment programme, is scheduled in the last quarter of 2020.
Against the backdrop of the strong traffic growth, the runway project was launched in July 2018 and aims at accommodating larger aircraft (Code E) such as B-777-300ER or A-350-1000 operating long-haul direct flights to/from Sihanouk International Airport. Between 2015 and 2019, passengers grew from 94,000 to 1.6 million passengers and the airport had been experiencing triple digit growth nearly every year. In the last five years, Sihanoukville has become a destination in the making with its deep-sea port and pristine beaches, attracting both business investors and tourists.
Alain Brun, CEO of Cambodia Airports, the company that develops and manages the Kingdom’s network of international airports, said “to sustain the development of Sihanoukville, an efficient airport system and increasing air connectivity are critical. Upgrading the runway capacity provides new growth opportunities as airlines can operate bigger aircraft flying from/to more remote markets” such as Europe.