Southeast Asia airport report - 2023 edition
Cambodia airports progress, Manila's three-airport problem, Changi T5 resumes, Bangkok's two airports +1, Vietnam's airport boom continues, though HCMC's two airport woes continue
This is the Future Southeast Asia airport report for 2023 – a summary of airports planned, under construction, and other airport news in Southeast Asia over the past year. This report is for Future Southeast Asia paid subscribers.
Techo–Ta Khmau International Airport
The terminal at the new Phnom Penh airport (Techo–Ta Khmau International Airport) was 40% complete in October 2022. This is up from about 27% complete as of December 2021. There is a video here showing how the terminal structure is taking shape, and more photos here.
The airport is due to start operation in January 2025, just two years away. What has not been reported on is the transport infrastructure to the airport. The new airport is 30-40 km from the city centre, while the old airport is 9.3 km from Phnom Penh Railway Station in Central Phnom Penh.
There have been proposals for a metro system in Phnom Penh, but that would be years away from being realised. None of the recent reports mentions an airport train, which should be a priority if they want to make the new airport a success.
Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport
The Siem Reap New International Airport construction timeline is still unclear. In March 2022 it was clarified that the airport was only 22% complete (after being announced it was 27% complete). In April 2022 it was estimated that the airport would open in March 2023. A report in October said that it was 44% done and that it is set to open in Oct 2023. This is much slower than the 2021 estimate, where it was expected to be 70% completed by 2022.
This article highlighted the hurdles that the airport construction has faced. Something that is not talked about is that the airport is 50km from Siem Reap.
Dara Sakor International Airport
Dara Sakor International Airport in Koh Kong Province (location) was expected to be operational by mid 2022. By November 2022 it was announced that the airport opening would be delayed for unspecified reasons.
The Mondulkiri Airport project stalled after Chinese investor ‘runs out of funds’.
Battambang has an airport that is currently out of commission. In 2022 it was announced that the airport would be upgraded into 4C category. This category can accommodate 737/A320 aircraft (the preferred aircraft of low-cost airlines).
Battambang is one of my favourite underrated provincial cities of Southeast Asia. It would be more popular if the train from Phnom Penh was faster and more reliable, or if the train from Thailand connects to Cambodia. Perhaps AirAsia has Battambang on its shortlist of cities to serve when they set up AirAsia Cambodia.