Clark, Pampanga — The Department of Transportation (DOTr) and the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) ordered to expedite the development project of the Antique Airport to increase its operations, following a site inspection held on August 3.
DOTr Undersecretary for Aviation and Airports Manuel Antonio Tamayo and Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) Area 2 Cluster Manager Efren Nagrama met with Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao and former Senator and now Deputy House Speaker Cong. Loren Legarda to inspect and discuss current infrastructure developments at the airport.
After the inspection, Usec. Tamayo urged Verzontal Construction, the project contractor, to fast-track the construction works, as its completion rate currently stands at 12 percent since the project started on December 16, 2018. The proposed target completion date is scheduled for June 2020, months ahead of its 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 eight to 12 hours,” Usec. Tamayo said.
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.
Congresswoman Legarda expressed appreciation for the efforts of the DOTr and CAAP to hasten the project, as the expanded airport operations are seen to boost economic growth in the province.
Upon the request of Congresswoman Legarda, Verzontal Construction and the DOTr will submit the airport’s master plan, including the details of the PTB in two weeks.
The Antique Representative also recommended the installation of solar panels, a vertical garden, rain catchment system, and non-corrosive materials for the airport. Cong. Legarda’s son, Leandro Leviste, 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. Congresswoman Legarda has pledged to work on the additional funding of at least P150 million for the runway extension.
Likewise, Governor Cadiao has requested to expedite succeeding fund releases for site acquisition, which the DOTr assured.
DOTr Secretary Arthur Tugade commended the joint efforts of all parties and assured the completion of the Antique Airport development project ahead of schedule.
“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,” Secretary Tugade said.
As the only Principal Class 2 airport serving the province of Antique, the Antique Airport held the groundbreaking ceremony for its development project on December 16, 2018, the same day it relaunched commercial operations after several years of inactivity.
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