The National Assembly (NA) has passed a draft law on the management of the State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA). It replaced a previous law, in a bid to ensure that civil aviation legislation aligns with the Kingdom’s current development.

The law was passed unanimously on October 9 by the 101 lawmakers present, including Prime Minister Hun Manet, in a session chaired by acting NA president Cheam Yeap. The session was the resumption of one which was previously adjourned.

An NA press release explained that the new law will replace the one promulgated in 1996.

Comprised of 11 articles, the legislation brings the Kingdom’s aviation industry in line with modern standards.

“Civil aviation plays a crucial role in contributing to socio-economic development. It directly and indirectly creates jobs, supports tourism and trade, and attracts both local and foreign investment,” the statement said.

“The sector also eases people-to-people connections with other countries, as well as cultural exchanges with the outside world,” it added.

Thourn Sinan, chairman of the Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA) Cambodia Chapter, agreed that civil aviation contributes a lot to the tourism sector, as it transports many visitors to the Kingdom. He believes that the most important task of the SSCA is to facilitate as many direct flights to Cambodia as possible.

Pen Bona, head of the Government Spokesperson Unit, took to social media to thank the NA for passing the law, noting that it will allow the government to operate the sector more effectively.

Separately, on October 5, King Norodom Sihamoni promulgated a law establishing the Ministry of Inspection to replace the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection. This law was approved by during the NA’s September 24 session.

The ministry will be headed by a minister, accompanied by a number of secretaries and undersecretaries of state. While the ministry is being established, the office previously responsible for its work will continue to do so, said the royal decree promulgating the law.

The decree explained that the 10-article law was created in response to the policies of the new government and the first phase of its Pentagonal Strategy, which has a particular focus on reform, good governance and the upgrading of institutional capacities.

The promulgation also annulled the law on the establishment of the Ministry of National Assembly-Senate Relations and Inspection, which went into force in 1999.

Yang Peou, secretary-general of the Royal Academy of Cambodia, called for an emphasis on efficiency.

“Cambodia has many laws, and a large number of ministries. It is important that each of its laws is effectively enforced. This depends on three things – the will of the government, institutional reform, and the enforcement of the law by each specific ministry,” said.