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Sihanoukville Airport: Dead Or Alive?


JR Texas
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Is the new and improved Sihanoukville Airport (Cambodia) a reality or myth?

It seems that it is closed and has been for some time now. I can't find any flights in or out of it.

Yes, there was a terrible accident in 2007. But what about now? The future? Is it going to open to international traffic or not?

Businesses in Sihanoukville will benefit if it starts receiving international flights, or internal flights from Siem Riep to Sihanoukville.

If the international airport in Sihanoukville is nothing but a myth, businesses will not benefit.

Does anybody have an accurate answer? What is the status of the airport?

I am particularly interested in flights will go directly to Sihanoukville from Thailand.

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It has been closed to all flights since the accident.

It doesn't look like it will be opening any time soon.

Rumour has it that the powers that be are looking for too much in the way of fees and backhanders to open it again and the airline operators are refusing to pay.

There are some high end, very plush resorts being constructed there, so there is no doubt that the airport will be opened again one day - as the high end tourists aren't about to endure a 4 hour bumpy and dangerous drive from PP.

But when?

Who knows?

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I was there a couple of weeks ago, the main airport, the old one was about 20 clicks outside of town and as far as I know has been closed since said accident.

However, it looked alot to me like they were building another airport behind the Sokha Resort, I asked my moto driver and he said they were building one, whether it's private or will have international flights I don't know.

In terms of the old one, I'd heard from the local bar owners that it had been worked on but the date for opening for international flights kept on getting pushed back and back. In the end it's not happened so far, I know there was a fair amount of guesthouse building in anticipation of it opening, still is I think.

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I was there a couple of weeks ago, the main airport, the old one was about 20 clicks outside of town and as far as I know has been closed since said accident.

However, it looked alot to me like they were building another airport behind the Sokha Resort, I asked my moto driver and he said they were building one, whether it's private or will have international flights I don't know.

In terms of the old one, I'd heard from the local bar owners that it had been worked on but the date for opening for international flights kept on getting pushed back and back. In the end it's not happened so far, I know there was a fair amount of guesthouse building in anticipation of it opening, still is I think.

Thanks........the part about another possible airport behind Sokha Resort is very interesting. Can you tell me where the Sokha Resort is? Is it on the ocean? Which beach? I will try to GoogleEarth it.

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The hotel's on Sohka Beech. Between Independence Beech and Ochheuteal Beech.

I was there last week. A great hotel, owned by the wealthest man in Cambodia. Didn't see the ''airport'' behind the hotel being built.

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The hotel's on Sohka Beech. Between Independence Beech and Ochheuteal Beech.

I was there last week. A great hotel, owned by the wealthest man in Cambodia. Didn't see the ''airport'' behind the hotel being built.

Sokha Beach Hotel......guess I should have guessed its on Sokha Beach. I did use GoogleEarth and scanned all over the place........there is an empty field behind the hotel.......could not see any evidence of a airport being built and it would not make sense to build an international airport there.......too dangerous......close to the city.

However, even though I saw nothing, if the hotel is owned by the wealthiest man in Cambodia, he may very well be building a private strip that I could not see. But I would think a helicopter pad would do the trick. Maybe Hun Sen and this guy are building something.........who knows.

Looking at the area using GoogleEarth, I am struck by the long, white beaches with nothing on them (especially south of Orcheautal Beach).......there appears to be a lot of potential there for future development. I wonder if it will actually happen.

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I think someone has their wires crossed.

They are not building a new airport. The existing one is fine. It needs some electronic /radar or whatever landing equipment to be installed - the lack of which was blamed on the fatal accident. I understand it is very expensive, and the "powers that be" are are asking a lot of money in landing fees before they invest in the required equipment. So far there is an impasse.

No doubt it will eventually be sorted but no-one knows when.

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JR, the long white sandy beaches are real.

Some beaches have small hotels and bars (e.g. Serendipity) where back packers and the like congregate. Very pleasant.

Others have already been cordoned off by developers and are now private property.

There have been many instances of people who have homes, shops, restaurants and other buildings on beaches who have been summarily evicted - including a whole fishing village - by the army who are working for private developers.

It will all definitely go upmarket or die in the attempt.

Time scale? Impossible to say.

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JR, the long white sandy beaches are real.

Some beaches have small hotels and bars (e.g. Serendipity) where back packers and the like congregate. Very pleasant.

Others have already been cordoned off by developers and are now private property.

There have been many instances of people who have homes, shops, restaurants and other buildings on beaches who have been summarily evicted - including a whole fishing village - by the army who are working for private developers.

It will all definitely go upmarket or die in the attempt.

Time scale? Impossible to say.

I know that Hun Sen built a nice "palace" in front of the Orchidee Hotel on Orcheautal Beach........I saw that the last time I was in SNVL. I also saw empty lots where shacks used to be.

A well-connected businessman in PP told me that Hun Sen's relative was building a 5 star hotel near Sen's beach house. The golf course concept was scrapped because that area is set for development.

No doubt security in the area will be greatly enhanced around Sen's villa......he will not want anything less. It will also likely get a lot cleaner. I can't see him allowing raw sewage to seep into the bay.

I am seeing potential.........but when? When will it all take off? I suppose, if you are an investor, the time to invest is now, but the global downturn really concerns me along with the airport closed and the long off season.

I can't imagine how people make a profit when they have to close their businesses for several months due to the rain.

Anyway, we probably will not recognize the place in ten years.

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o.k I genuinely don't know for sure if it's an airport behind sokha, it won't be on google earth because it looked very recent as in, there was a building there a few weeks ago that wasn't there six months ago when i was in snooky before. I'm genuinely not 100% sure about that however I do know that the deserted half of Ochintael beach is also owned by Sokha Resorts, Sokha resorts indeed being owned by the richest man in Cambodia who also runs Sokimex oil company. My understanding is that there are some very big plans for the Bokor Resort down the coast, heard they were planning on spending a staggering amount of money there to develop the place, the sums I heard bandied around will almost guarantee the snooky airport gets sorted out.

If your interested, the upper half of Ochtinatel beach with all the bars on is on a month by month lease, aka they can all get kicked off within a month if they want to develop the upper half. The bit on serendipity beach (same continuous bit of beach, serendipity is just a bit rockier) are on much longer leases ranging from 5-20 years.

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