VINCI Airports will invest close to $400 million on upgrading Cambodia’s airport system over the next eight years, according to chairman, Nicolas Notebaert.
Notebaert, speaking at the Global Airport Development (GAD) conference in Paris earlier today, revealed that $80 million would be invested on an extension to the international terminal at Phnom Penh International Airport.
He said that a further $100 million will be spent on upgrading Siem Reap International Airport – gateway to the Angkor Wat UNESCO World Heritage site – between now and 2020.
And Notebaert told delegates that VINCI Airports has set aside an additional $200 million for improvements at Sihanoukville International Airport, despite the fact that the resort gateway only welcomed the return of scheduled services last December after a four year absence.
Expanding the terminal in Phnom Penh would allow for the installation of a new state-of-the-art baggage handling system and create more than 3,000sqm of retail space, according to Notebaert.
The revamp at Siem Reap would add six new gates and create a bigger and more efficient check-in area, he said.
While in addition to a new runway and passenger facilities, Notebaert revealed that Sihanoukville had been earmarked for a number of ‘airport city’ type developments.
Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports are expected to break the two million passengers per annum total for the first time in 2012, while Cambodia’s developing tourism industry continues to drive up traffic at Sihanoukville.
“We need new facilities to handle traffic growth and to be able to continue to offer the high service standards we offer today,” says Notebaert, noting that Phnom Penh handled around 600,000 passengers in 1995 and Siem Reap just 200,000 as recently as in 2000.
The latest forecasts predict that Phnom Penh could be handling around 3mppa by as early as 2015, Siem Reap up to 4mppa by 2020 and Sihanoukville some 4mppa by 2025.
“We are a long-term investor and will continue to invest in and develop Cambodia’s airports throughout out 45 year concession, and firmly believe that our success can be replicated in other South East Asian countries," said Notebaert.
He said that VINCI Airports had “recently looked at Myanmar”, which had become much more an attractive proposition since the lifting of sanctions.
All three airports are operated by concessionaire Cambodia Airports, which is 70% owned by VINCI Airports.