Two lawmakers have introduced legislation that would require written permission from the Northern Islands Mayor’s Office for aircraft or personal landings on any of the Northern Islands.
Reps. Sheila J. Babauta (D-Saipan) and Joel C. Camacho (R-Saipan)’s House Local Bill 22-18 proposes to amend Title 10, Division 3 of the Commonwealth Code by inserting Chapter 15 to establish permitting requirements for aircraft and/or personal landings in the Northern Islands.
Babauta and Camacho believe that it is imperative to establish permitting requirements for visits to the Northern Islands for safety and precautionary purposes.
The lawmakers stated in the bill that permitting requirements will allow the mayor and his/her staff to be aware of activities that are taking place and aid such individuals when necessary.
“The safety of both the natural surroundings and human life are of great importance,” the lawmakers said.
Under the legislation, no aircraft or personal landings on the Northern Islands shall be allowed without first obtaining written permission from Northern Islands Mayor’s Office.
Each island shall require a separate landing permit.
The Northern Islands Mayor’s Office shall establish and promulgate rules and regulations, including but not limited to penalties and fees.
Babauta and Camacho said the Northern Islands is considered an alluring gem of significant importance to the Commonwealth that must be valued and protected at all times from any foreseeable and unforeseeable forces.
Babauta and Camacho said many people, either private citizens or businesses, have traveled to the Northern Islands without proper authorization.
Without such authorization and proper knowledge of the surrounding areas, these individuals will not only endanger the islands’ natural surroundings but also endanger their own lives in the event of a catastrophic occurrence such as shipwreck, capsize, boat engine failure, and others, they said.