The Royal Government of Cambodia entered an agreement with the Société Concessionaire d’Aéroport (SCA) to start operating the Phnom Penh airport (PNH) on July 6 1995. The former name of the Phnom Penh airport was Pochentong airport, and PNH stands for Pochentong International Airport. In return for a 20 year concession agreement the SCA entered an improvement program pledging $100 million.
This money made it possible to build a new runway, a new terminal and hangars and cargo buildings. An Instrument Landing System (ILS) was installed as well as approach lighting. The investment improved the airport greatly and made it possible for more flights to land and take off from the airport.
Of course the investment and increased traffic created more jobs for locals as well.
PNH airport is the largest Cambodian airport covering over 380 acres of land. It is situated at 10 kilometers from Phnom Penh.
During the concession the RGC contracted the Berger Group to take care of engineering services. The group tested the designs on practicality and supervised works to make it possible for wide body aircraft to land and take off from the airport. Examples of improvements are asphalt concrete runway coverings and meteorological equipment. Power systems were improved and a new fire station was built, as well as new taxiways. The main task was the construction of a 20,000 square meter terminal building to facilitate ever increasing tourist traffic. The airport can be quite busy and crowded and not all shops and restaurants are open 24 hours. I you wish to use specific facilities at the airport it is a good idea to check the opening times before your arrival.
Currently the airport has two different terminal buildings. One building is dedicated to domestic flights and the other is used for international traffic. Recently a new facility was added to be able to provide a high standard VIP service for business and VIP travelers. The airport capacity is designed to cater for 2 million visitors per year. Visitor number are growing every year and the airport is a commercial success. Visitors have marked the airport as a pleasant airport to visit with speedy processing times, plenty of facilities and a good connection to other destinations.
Over twenty different airlines operate flights from the airport, offering both inland flights as well as international flights. The main international destinations offered from Phnom Penh airport are Seoul, Hong Kong, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. The airport can be reached by car as well as public transport and offers plenty of (long term as well as short term) parking facilities and cab facilities for travelers. There are 20 check-in counters and visa counters to ensure speedy processing of travelers. The airport has ample food and beverage facilities as well as a tax-free area.
A visa on arrival can be obtained at the airport from the Visa counter. It is important for foreign visitors to know that not all foreign visitors are able to apply for a visa on arrival, those travelers have to check with their closest Royal Embassy of Cambodia to find out about the specific visa requirements for their country.