Cambodia eyes new airport for Siem Reap

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Cambodia is looking to build a new airport near Siem Reap, the gateway to the temple ruins of Angkor that are the country's main tourist magnets.

A South Korean company is in talks with the Cambodian government on the project, according to local news reports. They are keen to be involved in the construction and operation of the proposed $1 billion facility, add the reports.

"They want to conduct a feasibility study of Cambodia's civil aviation sector," Long Chheng, deputy director at the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, is quoted as saying. "We're very welcoming to any investment in the country's aviation sector."

He adds that there would be further discussions before his department sends the proposal to the Council for the Development of Cambodia, which coordinates and approves infrastructure projects in the country.

The proposed airport would be located 60km from Siem Reap to minimise the damage from noise pollution to the increasingly fragile Angkor Wat complex, the main attraction in the area. It would be able to accommodate larger aircraft that could allow direct links to cities in Europe and the USA, add the newspapers.