THE DEPARTMENT of Transportation said the P1.39-billion airport rehabilitation and expansion project in General Santos City is expected to be completed in the second quarter.

The airport project, which is funded by the government from the General Appropriations Act, is due for completion in “Q2 2021,” the department said on its website.

The project, which started in 2017, covers the rehabilitation and expansion of the airport’s passenger terminal building, expansion of the apron, and the improvement of air navigation equipment and power supply system and other landside facilities.

The department said the project, once completed, should sustain nearby Koronadal City’s role as a regional administrative center and General Santos City’s role as an international gateway and an agri-industrial and eco-tourism hub.

In February, the department announced that it will be starting work on 75 more airport projects.

It said it had completed 121 airport projects as of February, while 114 were ongoing.

According to a document from the department, among the 75 airport projects for procurement are the construction of the administrative building at Clark International Airport, strip grade correction of the runway at Kalibo Airport, improvement of the passenger terminal building at Bacolod Airport, and construction of an apron and taxiway, among others, at Catbalogan Airport.

Among the completed airport projects are the upgrades to Laoag Airport, Vigan Airport, Tuguegarao Airport, Palanan Airport, Cauayan Airport, Mamburao Airport, Lubang Airport, and Romblon Airport.

Ongoing airport projects, aside from General Santos, include the upgrade of Vigan Airport, Basco Airport, Calayan Airport, Virac Airport, and Antique Airport.

In January last year, the Tourism department and the Transportation department signed a memorandum of agreement on infrastructure development to support so-called “tourism circuits,” clusters of destinations being promoted for the visitor trade. — Arjay L. Balinbin