A joint venture between South Korean firms Kumho Industrial and GS Engineering has been awarded a $83m contract to design and build an international airport on the island of Palawan, which is part of the Philippine archipelago.Â
The airport will serve Puerto Princesa, the capital of the island, which is to the south-west of Luzon. The work will include the construction of a passenger and a cargo terminal, as well as aprons andÂ taxiways.Â
The contractors are due to begin the design by the third quarter of this year, and the airport is expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2017.
The island, which is a Unesco world heritage site, has a thriving tourism industry.
Once completed, Puerto Princesa International will have an annual capacity of about 2 million passengers; it currently has an average of 20 flights a day operated by five airlines.Â Â
Transportation Secretary Joseph Abaya said: "With its beaches and other natural wonders attracting throngs of visitors from all over the globe,Â Puerto Princesa will finally have a gateway that is befitting of its stature."