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Weekly landings at Saipan airport down 95%

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THE number of weekly commercial aircraft landings at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport has gone down to three from 65, Commonwealth Ports Authority Executive Director Christopher Tenorio said.

The remaining incoming flights are from Guam and the occasional chartered flights from South Korea.

CPA, however, “continues to generate revenue through, among other things, various lease renewals and new leases,” Tenorio said in his fiscal year-end report to the CPA board of directors.

He said air carriers that regularly operate at the Saipan airport have suspended flights indefinitely. As of August, only one airline continued to operate, three times a week, with a limited passenger load.

“Overall the number of landings at the  Saipan International Airport has decreased by 95%, from an average of 65 flights per week in December 2019, to three weekly flights in August,” Tenorio said.

Commonwealth Ports Authority Executive Director Christopher Tenorio, third left, background, listens as board member Barrie Toves speaks during the CPA board meeting in the Aircraft Rescue and Firefighting classroom on Thursday last week. Also in picture are CPA Chairwoman Kimberlyn King-Hinds, center, board members Pete P. Reyes, left, and Joseph Diaz, right. Photo by Emmanuel T. Erediano

On Tinian, he said, the four car rental providers continue to do business at the airport because of the anticipated military buildup. Additionally, Tenorio said CPA is seeking concessionaires to put up advertising billboards in certain areas of the airport.

As for Rota, Tenorio said it “has been faced with many challenges” over the past year, and the Benjamin Taisacan Manglona International Airport “is no exception.”

He said the U.S. Transportation Security Administration is vacating and ceasing operations except for a “minimal activity” at the Rota international airport.

Right now, Tenorio said the  Rota airport has only one active passenger airline and two airlines with cargo operations.

Tenorio also reported that CPA was able to complete some its projects because of federal financial assistance. In April, CPA received $22.7 million from the Federal Aviation Administration through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security or CARES Act.

November 2020 pssnewsletter

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