South Korea-Funded Civil Aviation Training Center Inaugurated

A civil aviation training center was launched in Phnom Penh on Wednesday, three years after an agreement was signed with South Korea to fund the construction of the new facility.

Mao Havannal, the secretary of state for the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, said at its inauguration on Wednesday that the $10-million training center would offer 14 courses from air traffic control to airport security.

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Aviation officials demonstrate an air traffic control simulator at the newly built Civil Aviation Training Center in Phnom Penh on Wednesday. (Siv Channa/The Cambodia Daily)

Eleven South Korean experts had helped train Cambodian instructors to teach two-week short courses and two-year programs, Mr. Havannal said.

He added that the center could take 274 trainees at a time, and the courses were available to all employees currently working at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, Cambodia Air Traffic Services and Cambodia Airports, which manages the country’s three international airports, located in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

The training center includes a library, X-ray room and air traffic control simulator.

Wooyoung Chung, vice president of the Korea International Cooperation Agency, said the center should help Cambodian aviation officers from having to seek training overseas.

“[The] Cambodian government used to highly depend on other countries with high cost for aviation training,” he said at the ceremony. “We therefore have made many great strides together in laying the foundations for the systems of training.”

The aid was a part of wider partnership between Cambodia and South Korea, which has invested $200 million in the country over the previous 25 years, Mr. Chung said.

According to data from Civil Aviation, the number of visitors arriving at Cambodia’s international airports grew at an average of 8 percent per year from 2008 to last year, increasing from about 2.5 million to 7 million people.

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