The Philippines Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) have asked contractors to accelerate the development of Antique Airport.

After inspecting the development work, the DOTr said the completion rate of the Antique Airport Development Project is at 12% since beginning on 16 December last year.

The construction of the airport is proposed to be completed by June next year, months ahead of its original completion date of August 2020.

Transportation Undersecretary for aviation and airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo said: “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 eight to 12 hours.”

According to the expansion plan, the contractor will construct a new Passenger Terminal Building (PTB), fire station building, administration building, apron, taxiway, powerhouse, vehicle parking area, staff house, and a perimeter and security fence.

Upon the request of Congresswoman Loren Legarda, Verzontal Construction and the DOTr will submit the airport’s master plan in two weeks, including details of the PTB.

A project representative also recommended the installation of solar panels, non-corrosive materials, a rain catchment system and a vertical garden.

Solar Para Sa Bayan corporation owner Leandro Leviste has agreed to supply solar panels for free, said the DOTr.

Furthermore, the airport’s 1.43km runway will be expanded to 1.8km.

Congresswoman Legarda has committed to providing additional funding of at least PHP150m ($2.88m) for the runway extension.

The completion of the Antique Airport Development Project is expected to cost PHP343.059m ($6.57m).

DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade said: “I am thankful to Deputy Speaker Legarda and Governor Cadiao for accommodating and assisting our team in the development of the Antique Airport, even on short notice.

“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.”