As the Cambodian aviation sector grows rapidly alongside significant growth in the tourism sector, the Kingdom should consider adopting the Cape Town Treaty for the benefit of aircraft purchasing and leasing, industry insiders said.
The Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment – or Cape Town Treaty – is a mechanism allowing aviation companies to lease or buy aeroplanes and helicopters at a lower cost, as well as acquire some of the latest aviation technologies on the market.
The US Embassy in Phnom Penh, in partnership with AmCham Cambodia and Cambodia’s State Secretariat of Civil Aviation, last Friday hosted a seminar on Aviation and the Cape Town Treaty.
Speaking to reporters at the event, Michael Newbill, Charge d’affaires at the US Embassy in Phnom Penh, said Cambodia’s tourism sector is growing very fast, bring a huge growth opportunity for the country’s aviation sector.
While citizens, as well as tourists, require modern aviation infrastructure and services to support growing international travel and trade, Newbill said the adoption of the Cape Town Treaty could allow the Kingdom’s aviation companies to lease or buy aeroplanes and helicopters at lower costs, as well as acquire some of the latest aviation technologies on the market.
“If you look at tourism growth in Cambodia, it is very high and the aviation sector is a very large and very positive area for growth and we would like to contribute to that growth."
“It offers tremendous economic and trade opportunity for US aircraft, for US aviation technology and US aviation services which we are very eager to promote,” he said.
The Cape Town Treaty seminar’s objective was to help the Kingdom’s aviation companies better understand the benefits of the Cape Town Treaty and learn more about how the convention can support the country’s growing number of airlines and helicopter companies, including how to reduce costs on aircraft purchases and leases as well as provide new sources of financing.
In attendance were 13 representatives from across the US’ aviation landscape – including Boeing, General Electric, Aircastle and Magellan Aviation Group.
State Secretary of Civil Aviation spokesman Sin Chansereyvutha said adopting the treaty would be very useful, especially for Cambodia, which has a growing aviation sector.
He said Cambodian airlines possess about 30 aircraft and are unable to lease them directly from aircraft companies. Without joining the Cape Town Convention, Chansereyvutha said local airlines need a third company, mostly in other countries, to guarantee Cambodian airlines can lease aircraft.
“We are willing to join, but there will be some difficulties. To join the Cape Town Convention, we will need to face some issues such as the need to revise some laws,” he said, adding that successfully joining the convention will take time, human resources and government support.
“I believe that we will need about one or two years to adopt the Cape Town Convention and it needs the support from the government and relevant stakeholders.”