The Department of Transportation (DOTr) said a new international airport serving Bohol is on schedule for completion by June this year.
Over 70% of the construction of the P7.8-billion New Bohol International Airport has been finished, the DOTr said. Commercial operations start August 2018.
The terminal covers over 13,300 hectares and is expected to handle two million passengers on opening year. The existing Tagbilaran Airport handles about 800,000 passengers yearly.
The New Bohol International Airport in Panglao will have a 2,500-meter runway. It can be extended to 2,800 meters.
The runway was engineered to accommodate seven aircraft at a time, including long-range commercial planes. This will open up areas with significant tourism and trade potential to international routes.
The government hopes to reduce the need for airlines to transit to the congested Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
The new airport is among those for development and privatization by government.
Last week, Trasportation Undersecretary for aviation Capt. Manuel Antonio L. Tamayo said the administration remained keen on a modernization plan for Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Laguindingan and New Bohol airports.
He said feasibility studies were underway, updating old studies.
The modernization project was pushed back in the previous administration, given that the required procurement process fell too close to the 2016 elections. Changes in policy during the Duterte administration stalled the project further.
The regional airports project would have been the second airport public-private partnership project after the Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA), which was bagged by Megawide and GMR in 2014.