IN ANTICIPATION OF JULY 15 REOPENING OF CNMI
In anticipation of the July 15 target date to reopen the CNMI to tourists, the Commonwealth Ports Authority is busy putting together an action plan to implement certain public health precautionary measures.
The action plan, according to CPA board chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds yesterday, is not just for the safety of their employees but for the traveling public as well. That includes installing plexiglass dividers, putting in place disinfection processes that will be done regularly, and providing hand sanitizers.
Speaking during a break in a CPA board committees’ meeting yesterday at the Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting classroom at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, King-Hinds said they will also be implementing measures to ensure that people who are coming through the airport will practice social distancing.
During the meeting itself, King-Hinds pointed out that whether or not the CNMI will be able to welcome international arrivals is still unknown to CPA at this point. “But when it does and if it does happen, CPA needs to have a plan in place and certain safeguards implemented to ensure the safety not only of the traveling public but our employees,” said King-Hinds.
CPA executive director Christopher S. Tenorio disclosed that CPA has a mitigation action plan, the draft of which they provided to board members. Tenorio said the team will do a PowerPoint presentation about the action plan during another committee meeting, probably by next week.
“We’re actually doing everything to start preparing for the flights, for the July 15 arrivals,” he said.
Right now, CPA has hired a company to install plexiglass dividers at all counters, holding room, Customs area, and at the Customs and Border Protection section of the airport, Tenorio said.
For the safety of the CPA staff, Tenorio said, they are also installing plexiglass dividers at the accounting and administration offices. He said they also hired a company to create and install markers and signages to inform arriving passengers to maintain social distancing.
“Hopefully, by next week, we [will] start putting everything up,” he said.
Tenorio also disclosed that the Federal Aviation Administration will be providing facial masks to all airports: 24,500 pieces for Saipan, 5,000 for Tinian, and 2,500 for Rota. Those facial masks will be coming in the next two weeks, he added.
According to its draft action plan, CPA aims to minimize the potential adverse health impact of COVID-19 by slowing the spread of the disease in the CNMI and at its ports and minimizing COVID-19’s impact on the CNMI economy by maintaining trust and confidence among its airport partners and the traveling public. CPA said they are dedicated to providing safe, clean, and secure airports for passengers, employees, and tenants by implementing best practices for safety and economic recovery at the airports.