Tekreth Samrach, standing secretary of state for the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, has lauded the efforts of the working groups who assumed responsibility for the construction of the new Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport (SAI).

He noted that despite the challenges wrought by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and other difficulties, they had found ways to overcome each challenge, and successfully completed the construction of the international-standard facility.

Samrach, who also chairs the orientation commission for the construction of the airport, inspected the completed project on November 3 and declared that the work was “more than satisfactory”. He said the task of the commission was now complete.

The inspection was scheduled before the official inauguration of the airport, to be presided over by Prime Minister Hun Manet on November 16.

“In the future, there will not just be an airport here. We expect a modern town to develop around the facility. It will become a key area which will shore up not just the provincial economy, but the whole Cambodian economy. This is a source of pride, and can be attributed to the efforts of all of stakeholders,” he said.

He explained that originally, two large construction projects were under negotiation at the same time – the SAI airport and the construction of the Phnom Penh-Sihanoukville expressway. However, due to the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis, the two projects could not be carried out at the same time.

“The leaders of Cambodia and China eventually selected a company from China’s Yunnan City to develop SAI, and handed over the construction work to the orientation commission,” he said.

Lu Wei, chairman of Angkor International Airport Investment (AIAI) Cambodia – the company authorised to implement the project – thanked the commission for its support.

He also offered his gratitude to each of the working groups associated with the project, noting that their assistance and excellent cooperation had ensured that the construction was a success.

He asked the orientation commission to continue to extend its support to any other development projects which the company may undertake in the future.