The Philippines has started repairing its runway in Pag-asa Island in Kalayaan Group of Islands, West Philippine Sea, satellite imagery released by Center for Strategic and International Studies-Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative (CSIS-AMTI) on May 25 shows.
“The Philippines has begun long-delayed repairs to its crumbling runway at Thitu, or Pag-asa, Island, the largest of its nine outposts in the Spratly Islands and home to upwards of 100 civilians and a small military garrison,” AMTI said.
AMTI said satellite imagery from May 17 shows two barges anchored just off the western edge of Pag-asa Island runway which collapsed into the sea years ago.
It noted that airstrip, officially 1,300 meters long, was originally constructed in the 1970s and was the first runway in the Spratly Islands.
“In addition to the start of work on the runway, other upgrades are visible around Thitu (Pag-asa). At least seven new buildings have been constructed in the last year, with four near the residential area on the eastern side of the island, one near the administrative facilities at its center, another along the northern shore, and one at the western end next to the island’s basketball court, which has received a fresh coat of paint,” AMTI added.