$1M needed for airport expansion
The Commonwealth Ports Authority needs about a million dollars to rehabilitate and expand the Francisco C. Ada-Saipan International Airport.
Barrie Toves, who chairs the CPA board’s airport facilities committee, said that CPA is continuously working on a master plan for the rehabilitation of the airport.
“We did the terminal expansion study, so we have a concept as to what kind of expansion we want for the airport in order to facilitate the expected growth of the tourists coming,” said Toves. “We have identified the funding for the master plan, which would cost $1 million.”
The master plan encompasses all the Saipan airport’s facilities and includes expanding the Customs and Border Protection area, the Transportation Security Administration area, and the departure areas where the counters are.
The master plan includes the construction of a separate building at the terminal area where airline operators will be relocated and offices set up, Toves said.
Expanding the parking lot is also part of the plan.
The master concession program is also underway, Toves said. The master concession program grants the winning bidder the right to operate facilities at the airport to sell duty-free merchandise.
“The requests for proposals for the master concession program is still in the process. We did a concession study so we have a concept already of what kind of expansion for the facility is required.
“The thing that is holding it back is the master concession rules and regulations that is required by the legislation that was passed, authorizing us to separate the three island’s concession programs.”
“In order for us to implement the concession back again and in order for the request for proposals for the master concession to be completed, we need to incorporate the rules and regulations.” Toves said.
Currently, the draft of the rules and regulations is already with the Office of the Attorney General for review. The results will then be brought back to CPA for submission to the CNMI Registrar for publication.
Only after publication will the rules and regulations be promulgated.
“Once we are clear with the rules and regulations, we can come back to our consultant who is working on the development of the request for proposals in the concession for them to proceed and complete the process,” Toves added.