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The development of Antique airport is being fast tracked with new target completion date eyed for June 2020. Photo from the Department of Transportation.

The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) have ordered the fast-tracking of the development of Antique Airport to improve its service and efficiency.

DOTr undersecretary for aviation and airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo, after inspecting the airport on August 3, urged the project contractor, Verzontal Construction, to fast-track construction works, as its completion rate currently stands at 12% since the project started on December 16, 2018. The new target completion date proposed is June 2020, ahead of the original completion date of August 2020.

“We have requested the contractor to fast-track the development of the Antique Airport to efficiently serve the region. To do this, we need the augmentation of workers and equipment, and extend the working hours from 8 to 12 hours,” Tamayo said in a statement.

Ongoing improvements at the airport include the construction of a new passenger terminal building (PTB), apron, taxiway, fire station building, power house, administration building, perimeter and security fence, vehicle parking area, and staff house.

Antique representative Loren Legarda, who joined the inspection, also recommended installing solar panels, a vertical garden, a rain catchment system, and non-corrosive materials for the airport. Legarda’s son, Leandro Leviste, who is founder of Solar Pilipinas, committed to provide the solar panel system free of charge.

Discussions were also made to extend the airport’s runway from 1,430 meters to 1,800 meters in order to accommodate jet operations. Legarda has pledged to work on the release of additional funding of at least P150 million for the runway extension.

Antique governor Rhodora Cadiao has also requested speeding up succeeding fund releases for site acquisition, which DOTr assured will be done.

“We will ensure that this airport will be upgraded on or before its target date so that we may deliver to the people of Antique the service and facility that they have long been yearning for,” Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade said.

In response, Verzontal will submit the airport’s master plan, including the details of the PTB, in two weeks.

As the only principal class 2 airport serving the province, the Antique Airport held the groundbreaking ceremony for its development project on December 16 last year, the same day it relaunched commercial operations after several years of inactivity.

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