‘$17.9M left from Tinian divert lease funds’


About $17.96 million remains un-allocated from the $21.9 million the Commonwealth Ports Authority had received from the 40-year lease of the U.S. Air Force’s divert airfield on Tinian.

According to CPA chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds, the remaining $17.96 million will soon be obligated for projects that will generate revenue for CPA. That includes building several warehouses, improvements for resiliency at the commuter terminal, and accommodations for future direct international flights, to include construction related to the Transportation Security Agency and Customs and Border Protection requirements, she said.

As for allegations that CPA has expended most of the divert lease funds on the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, King-Hinds said that’s far from the truth.

“The rumor that divert lease proceeds have been expended on Saipan is false. One million dollars, from the funds apportioned to the seaport, have been expended on the Tinian marina beautification project, which will soon be complete. For the record, CPA obligates and expends these funds in consultation with the Tinian leadership,” she said.

For example, King-Hinds said, a total of $2,863,450 have been obligated to the Tinian International Airport parking lot expansion project, the architecture and engineering (A&E) design for the CBP and TSA expansion projects, and purchase of equipment to fix and maintain the Tinian airport runway. An additional $74,000 has been expended on administrative costs, which include the actual divert negotiation meetings, construction meetings and advertising for projects directly connected to Tinian projects, she said.

Meanwhile, addressing the concerns about the Tinian International Airport and its progress, King-Hinds said the Tinian airport is still an international airport but, as of now, it is only being utilized by commuter airlines after Tinian Dynasty & Casino closed down.

“It is called the Tinian International Airport, but it is currently only used by commuter flights,” she said.

Kimberly Bautista Esmores | Reporter
Kimberly Bautista Esmores has covered a wide range of news beats, including the community, housing, crime, and more. She now covers sports for the Saipan Tribune. Contact her at kimberly_bautista@saipantribune.com.
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