Cambodia is looking to sign up to the Cape Town Convention on International Interests in Mobile Equipment.

The country's State Secretary for Civil Aviation, Mao Havannall, and the United States ambassador to Cambodia W. Patrick Murphy met recently to discuss various topics including Cambodia joining the international treaty.

Havannall said that Cambodia would review the Cape Town Convention through a working group and “achieve satisfactory results as soon as possible”. He expressed the hope that the US would provide technical assistance and assign experts to guide the civil aviation task force.

This is good news for aircraft manufacturers, owners, lessors, and financiers interested in the Cambodian market as the Cape Town Convention standardises transactions involving movable assets such as aircraft and aircraft parts. It would open up the country, which to date, may have been deemed too risky for creditors to lend into and which may have deterred financiers and lessors from doing business with local operators.

The primary purpose of the Cape Town Convention is to protect the interest of aircraft sellers, purchasers, and creditors through the creation of an international registry. This reduces the risks of lending for aircraft financiers, and for other parties involved in aircraft purchasing and leasing by establishing an international interest recognised in all contracting states. It also reduces the cost of credit and in turn saves costs. The treaty is designed to overcome the difficulties associated with obtaining secure and readily enforceable rights over aircraft, which by their nature, have no fixed location. To date, 78 countries (including the European Union) have signed up to the convention.

According to the ch-aviation fleets advanced module, Cambodia's main passenger carriers - JC International Airlines, Lanmei Airlines, Sky Angkor Airlines, and Cambodia Angkor Air - all operate leased fleets while Cambodia Airways owns its inventory.