Car rental concessions for three CNMI airports awarded

The Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors awarded the car rental concession for the airports on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota during a meeting last Friday.

CPA’s goal is to enhance its overall concession program as well as the revenues generated from these concessions for all airports and seaports. The concession categories consist of retail, food and beverage, premium lounges, car rental, and advertising; only the car rental concession was acted upon.

The awarded car rental concessionaires for Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport are National Enterprise Alamo, Budget, Atkins Kroll Toyota, Islander, Hertz Rent A Car, and Avis.

For the Tinian International Airport, the concessionaires are Islander and Avis.

For the Benjamin Taisacan International Airport on Rota, the concessionaires are Islander and Budget.

Barrie C. Toves, the CPA board’s airport facilities committee chairman, said in an interview that they have already completed the renovations for car rental booths and awarded the car rental concession for the three islands based on their new concession regulations.

Toves

What CPA did was it sent out requests for proposals for all car rental concessions for all airports on three islands.

On Saipan, the board awarded the top six out of seven companies based on the evaluation/selection committee’s ranking.

On Tinian and Rota, CPA had three car rental booths per airport but only two responded to the RFPs, Toves said.

“This is a two-year contract,” he said, adding that what they did was establish the concession regulations. “We didn’t have concession regulations before …Our responsibility…is to award based on the regulations.”

Toves said the creation of the concession regulations kicks in because of CPA’s decision to solicit proposals for the duty-free master concession program.

He said they dissected the concession program between the islands and the new regulations now gives CPA more flexibility in terms of negotiating the terms of each of the concession programs like the duty-free, advertisement, food and beverage, and now also the car rental concession.

He said the board put together the concession regulations, adopted it, and now it is enforced.

“So, when we issued out the RFP, we have to follow the concession regulations,” he said.

The new concession regulations, Toves said, complies with U.S. federal law on disadvantaged business enterprises.

He explained that all CNMI agencies, including CPA, which receives money from the U.S. Department of Transportation, is required to establish DBE program.

He said it took CPA awhile to implement the DBE program because it requires a sort of a police arm to monitor the DBE program.

Before the creation of the regulations, CPA just followed procurement regulations by issuing an RFP and then evaluating the responses, he said.

The concession regulations now requires all participants of the program to certify that they are going to comply with federal law that requires DBE standards.

He said DBE is a federal law that allows disadvantaged individuals and businesses owned by minorities to participate in the bidding process.

The purpose of DBE program is to increase the participation of certified DBEs in projects funded by the DOT and other federal sectors.

“In the past we didn’t have that. Basically, this is the first concession award that is in line with our current and active concession regulations,” Toves added.

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

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