A Malaysian company will begin construction on a new domestic terminal at Phnom Penh International Airport soon, at a cost of about $23 million, the firm announced in a filing to the Malaysian stock exchange on Wednesday.
Citing a rapid increase in passengers transiting through Cambodia’s three international airports, the filing submitted by Muhibbah Engineering says that the project “to design and construct a new domestic terminal of the Phnom Penh Airport in Cambodia” will commence “immediately” and wrap up by the end of 2017.
Muhibbah has a 30 percent stake in Cambodia Airports—which holds the concession to operate the Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville airports—with French construction company Vinci holding the remaining 70 percent. New international terminals were officially opened in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap last month, built at a combined cost of $100 million.
A total of 353,948 domestic passengers passed through the Phnom Penh airport in 2015, according to Cambodia Airports, compared to 239,101 the year before. And 101,318 domestic passengers transited through the airport in the first three months of this year, putting it on track to exceed last year’s total.
Sin Chansereivuth, a spokesman for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said the new domestic terminal would alleviate congestion at the international terminal.
“Currently, check-ins for international and domestic flights at the same terminal take time and can become crowded,” he said, noting that security measures for domestic departures were more lax, allowing for speedier check-ins.
Cambodia Airports spokesman Khek Norinda said the domestic terminal was the final stage of improvements to the Phnom Penh airport, and that construction was due to begin in the “coming weeks.”
“The new terminal, with enlarged space and further improved services, will be instrumental in handling present and future passenger traffic growth.” he said in an email.