Samart Gets 22-Year Pochentong Air Traffic Control Deal

Thai telecommunications company Samart Corp PLC finalized an agreement Monday with the government to take over the air traffic control operations of Pochentong Intern­ational Airport, an official confirmed Tuesday.

Under the agreement, finished in a signing ceremony attended by Prime Minister Hun Sen and Thai Prime Minister Thaksin Shin­awatra, Samart will manage air traffic for the next 22 years—seven years more than an original agreement made in January, said Soy Sokha, economic adviser to the Council of Ministers.

Samart bought the concession from the government for an initial investment of more than $15 million under a subsidiary company Cambodia Air Traffic Systems, Soy Sokha said.

Under the contract, 70 percent of the revenue from overflight charges and 50 percent from navigation services will go to Samart, with the government retaining the rest.

Cambodia has relied on the purchase of air-space information from both Bangkok and Vietnam for the past 30 years, but will now benefit from high-tech radar, navigation and communication equipment to be provided by CATS.

Flights into Cambodia have increased 20 percent in the last year, with about 40,000 flights into Cambodian airspace—25,000 of which were landings inside the country, Samart said in a statement.

(Additional reporting by the Associated Press)

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