16 May 2012
Officials in the northeastern province of Stung Treng hope future travellers will trade their bus seats for plane tickets.
No fuctional airport exists in the province, but local officials are demarcating, and looking to revamp, a landing strip that was installed when Cambodia was a protectorate of France.
Stung Treng governor Loy Sophat said local authorities had finished measuring the size of the airport late last year.
The majority of the 560-hectare airport was covered in forest and farmland after more than half a century of disuse, he said.
“If it is developed, this airport will mostly serve the tourism sector, because goods have other means of transportion such as roads and railways,” Loy Sophat said.
He did acknowledge that the scale of the airport might not pique investor interest.
“We think a small-size airport will not attract investors because we see other countries have airports with other facilities such as golf courses.
We have to think in the long term. Our land is so huge. If we don’t plan, some day we won’t be able to use it.”
Soy Sokhan, under-secretary of state for Civil Aviation, said officials were registering airport properties in other provinces where they used to exist.
Demarcation of the Stung Treng airport had not been completed, and the effect on villagers in the area was still unknown, Soy Sokhan said.
Keo Mom, a 50-year-old resident of Sre Por village, which is located on the airport site, said villagers were asking local governments and NGOs to help them gain compensation for the land they could lose.
Sourced : Phnom Penh Post