16 projects worth $121.2M for Saipan airport

Repairs due to Yutu devastation at airport cost $25M

In this file photo, the strong winds of Super Typhoon Yutu last Oct. 24 and 25 flipped this car over at the parking lot of the Fran-cisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport. Yutu’s devastation caused major damage at the airport. (Ferdie De La Torre)

The Commonwealth Ports Authority has 16 projects for the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport that have a total cost of $121.2 million, including an estimated $25 million for repairs due to Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation.

According to a CPA planning document called “CPA’s Strategic Planning for CNMI Air and Seaports,” the airport requires 15 repairs and replacements because of Yutu’s destruction last Oct. 24 and 25.

The repairs and replacements are ongoing and are being funded by insurance proceeds.

Among the items that need to be replaced are loading bridges, the perimeter fence, the bus canopy to the commuter terminal, a storefront window and door, air-conditioning unit, waterproofing, rotating beacon, and flag pole.

Repairs are needed for the commuter terminal, air traffic control tower, the Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting training facility, and incinerator facility.

The terminal also needs to be repainted.

The second biggest project is the $22-million recapitalization of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration that will allow it to replace its CTX machines, which TSA uses to scan luggage at the airport.

CPA said the design is now underway to replace the two CTX machines located at the baggage handling system basement.

Under this project, a temporary screening area behind the terminal will be built and the existing CTX 5500 machines will be removed and replaced as they are now obsolete.

New CTX 9000 machines will be installed for the rapid scanning of luggage and new computer systems will be upgraded to accommodate the new machines.

The duration of the project is two years and the design is ongoing and expected for completion by June 2019. Construction is set for 2020.

CPA said TSA, which is the funding source, will allocate the funds once bids are received.

The third biggest project is the $19-million runway resurfacing.

CPA said the original contractor for this project is now being sued due to poor workmanship and that plans and specification have been repackaged and are pending approval by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The funding source is the FAA/U.S. Department of Agriculture loan (Bank of Guam) but the FAA will not fund work that has already been paid for by Airport Improvement Program grants.

CPA expects construction work to start mid to late 2019.

The other projects are the $13.7-million passenger loading bridge replacement, the $1-million air traffic control tower, the $1-million runway expansion or new runway, the $15-million departure terminal expansion, the $15-million arrival terminal expansion, the $1.2-million commuter terminal repairs, the $1-million conveyor system upgrade, and the $250,000 Customs/Quarantine office renovations.

The remaining projects are the $250,000 CPA administration office renovations, the $150,000 U.S. Customs Border Protection renovations, the $2-million primary and secondary road repaving, the $1-million main parking lot expansion, the $600,000 overall airport lighting and signage improvements, and the $3-million fuel distribution system upgrade.

CPA executive director Christopher S. Tenorio said the Strategic Planning outlines what the staff and management have identified as priorities that CPA will pursue in the next four years.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a veteran journalist who has covered all news beats in the CNMI. Born in Lilo-an, Cebu City in the Philippines, De la Torre graduated from the University of Santo Tomas with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He is a recipient of many commendations and awards, including the CNMI Judiciary’s prestigious Justice Award for his over 10 years of reporting on the judiciary’s proceedings and decisions. Contact him at ferdie_delatorre@saipantribune.com
Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.