Airport back to full operations

As of 6am yesterday morning, the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport was back to full day and night operations after experiencing problems with its runway electrical lighting system over the weekend.

The limited hours of operation starting Friday resulted in airlines rescheduling their nighttime flights into daytime flights but as of now, the electrical problem that resulted in only 30 percent of runway lights being operational has been identified and fixed.

Commonwealth Ports Authority director Mary Ann Lizama was contacted for further elaboration on the exact electrical issues but comments were not received as of press time.

Lizama noted earlier that repairs were conducted over the weekend, thereby lifting the NOTAM or Notice to Airmen to resume full 24-hour flight operations.

According to Lizama last week, she was alerted past midnight on Friday by operations supervisor Jack Kileleman that a flight could not land because only 30 percent of the runway was lit.

Lizama said that even with the navigational aids, landing was unsafe for the plane, an Airbus 330.

The airport then began shutting down the runway electrical system to preserve and avoid circuit shorting, fluctuations and especially burning out the entire electrical system.

The CPA board approved the emergency procurement of services thereafter to find a company that specializes in electrical systems. In addition to this, the board also authorized the provisional hiring of two electricians to allow for much needed upgrades to the electrical system.

The airport runway electrical issue is the second incident this month, the first one occurring from Nov. 30 to Dec. 2.

Daisy Demapan | Reporter

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