Operating a business jet to Cambodia – less flexibility with new landing permit lead times

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Operating a business jet to Cambodia on short-notice recently became more challenging. Here are the top six things you need to know about the changes.

1. Permit lead times now 3-5 working days

Recent changes to the permit application process put into effect by Cambodia Civil Aviation (SSCA) has made it more difficult and reduced operating flexibility to the country. All Landing Permits, with the exception of medical evacuations, must now be approved by the Minister in Charge of the SSCA.

As a result, SSCA is now advising operators allow 3-5 working days to obtain landing permits. Previously, securing a landing permit took approximately one working day.

2. Permits unlikely to be processed during weekends

It’s important to note that permits are unlikely to be processed on weekends, as SSCA is closed, so operators should build this into their timeline.

3. New permit lead times in place for all three Cambodia airports

The new permit lead time is in effect for all three Cambodia airports: Phnom Penh (VDPP), Siem Reap (VDSR), and Sihanoukville (VDSV).

4. Medevac flights are the exception

As stated previously, medevac flights and overflight permits are unaffected by these changes.

5. Towbar now required

Due to airport congestion, it is now a requirement that all aircraft carry a tow bar with the exception of aircraft typically used by airlines e.g. B737/ A320 sized aircraft and above. This is in case a pushback is required on departure. The airport operator will always try to position aircraft for self-taxi but this is not always possible (note all parking in Cambodia is nose in).

6. Slots

All three international Cambodian airports are slot restricted, and slot approval is a requirement for obtaining a landing permit. Once a permit is issued, any changes in the schedule usually require only an update in the slots and SSCA will update the original permit number.

Conclusion

Due to the changes in the Cambodia permit process, giving yourself ample pre-planning time is more important than ever. Give yourself at least five business days to request permits and take into consideration that Cambodia Civil Aviation is closed weekends.

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