CPA reviews plan to build 2nd floor as a departure room at Rota airport building


The Commonwealth Ports Authority management is reviewing a plan to build a second floor to be used as departure room at the Benjamin Taisacan Manglona International Airport building on Rota.

CPA board’s airport facilities committee chair Barrie C. Toves said this project is in anticipation of the island having direct flights from Japan, China, or any other parts of Asia in the future.

In an interview after a CPA committee hearing last Wednesday, Toves said that CPA has already transmitted a recommendation for construction materials to make the airport building structurally capable to hold a second floor.

The building’s designer signed off on the concrete materials, but did not recommend a second floor due to difficulty of access and the substantial cost to build it, Torres said.

The idea to build a second floor came about during discussions to replace the roof canopy of the Rota airport due to its deteriorating condition with metal.

Toves said that before they decide to remove and replace the rusty canopy that was damaged by a previous typhoon, they were also looking into a plan of building a second floor on top of the airport building.

“We want to make that second floor into a holding room or departure room so that we kill two birds with one stone,” said Toves, noting that the bottom of the building will be for arrival while the second floor will be for departure.

He said that while they were doing the design, it was determined by the engineers that the second-floor concept is not realistic.

“So we are going back to the drawing board to make a design to replace the canopy and hardened it. Instead of repairing it, we are going to make it concrete,” he said.

As soon the design phase of the second floor is completed, that’s when they will able to know the project’s cost.

He said a request for quotation will then be sent out to begin the construction.

Ferdie De La Torre | Reporter
Ferdie Ponce de la Torre is a senior reporter of Saipan Tribune. He has a bachelor’s degree in journalism and has covered all news beats in the CNMI. He is a recipient of the CNMI Supreme Court Justice Award. Contact him at

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