Techo Takhmao International Airport, the next largest airport in Cambodia, taking shape

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The construction of Techo Takhmao International Airport, the next largest airport in Cambodia by area, is reportedly well underway. The airport, the construction of which began back in 2019, is located in Kandal province, approximately 30 to 40 kilometres south of Phnom Penh.

Its design was carried out by Foster & Partners a global studio for architecture, engineering, urban and landscape design based in London, England. China Construction Third Engineering Bureau Group Co., Ltd is building the airport terminals while Shanghai Baoye Group, a subsidiary of Metallurgical Corporation of China, is constructing the runways, taxiways, aprons and related facilities.

Cost and funding for the project

The cost of construction of Techo Takhmao International Airport is approximately US$ 1.5bn. The vast majority of this, (about US$ 1.1bn) was supposed to have been acquired from the China Development Bank was it not for an agreement signed in 2018 revoking the decision.

Cambodia Airport Investment Co., Ltd (CAIC) therefore began issuing bonds in November 2021 that were subscribed mostly by local Cambodian insurance companies and banks. In the process, CAIC raised about US$ 300M which was then invested by the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation (OCIC).

It is therefore safe to say that the Techo Takhmao International Airport project is locally funded.

The largest airport in Cambodia

Upon completion, hopefully in 2025, Techo Takhmao International Airport will become the largest airport in Cambodia by area. Spanning a total of 2,600 hectares of land, this new airport will be more than three times larger than Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport, the country’s current largest airport.

Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport sits on a 700 hectares piece of land located in Soutr Nikom District, Siem Reap province.

The airport will also replace the existing Phnom Penh International Airport as Phnom Penh’s main airport. It will have the capacity to accommodate more than 40 million passengers per year when fully operational.

Techo Takhmao International Airport design overview

The Techo Takhmao International Airport terminal building encompasses a central head house that has two aerofoil-shaped piers on either side to optimize walking distances. All the passenger processing, security and immigration, and retail elements are set within the head house under a single overarching roof canopy that stretches from the drop-off to the airside. The roof, which is supported by structural trees spanning a total of 36 meters, is a lightweight steel grid shell, with an innovative screen that filters daylight and illuminates the vast terminal space.

The terminal building is designed to be highly legible at a human scale, therefore there are minimal level changes and maximum views out to the apron in a bid to improve clarity and make movement intuitive. The featured interior materials are also warm and welcoming, evoking the Cambodian culture in a contemporary manner.

The airport is aspiring to be one of the greenest airports in the world. It thus takes a sustainable design approach, bringing together the latest technology and local craftsmanship while at the same time minimizing running costs. The terminal will also be flooded with natural light and full of lush greenery with mature trees rising through the soaring central void and edge planting softening the interiors.

Additionally, the terminal building will also be almost entirely run on energy generated by an onsite photovoltaic power plant.

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