CPA to build larger commuter terminal


File photo shows the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan Interna-tional Airport’s commuter terminal canopy after Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation last Oct. 24 and 25. The Commonwealth Ports Authority is planning to demol-ish the terminal building and build a larger one. (Ferdie De La Torre)

The Commonwealth Ports Authority will demolish the existing commuter terminal building at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, which Super Typhoon Yutu destroyed last year, and rebuild a new, larger one.

“We will break it down and rebuild,” CPA executive director Christopher S. Tenorio said in an interview during a break at the CPA board meeting Friday.

Under the CPA-funded project, the commuter terminal will be expanded to accom-modate a larger holding room, additional airline counters and check-in space, concession space, Customs Border Protection processing areas, and a larger baggage claim area.

Hofschneider Engineering Corp. had estimated that it will cost $427,167 to repair the damaged terminal.

The estimate did not include electrical and mechanical work required for the termi-nal, according to CPA.

CPA’s strategic plan did not indicate as to how much it will cost to build a new com-muter terminal building.

Tenorio said CPA’s engineering is in the process of doing a request for qualifications for architectural/engineering design services for the demolition of the existing building and construction of a new one.

“We cannot give you the timeline [to finish the project] but we are in the process of doing an RFQ. But we are trying to expedite everything,” he said.

The RFQ is expected to be advertised by next month.

The commuter building, which handles inter-island flights between Saipan, Tinian, and Rota, sustained extensive damage when Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian last Oct. 24 and 25. A canopy that leads from the parking lot to the commuter building also collapsed. The terminal has been condemned due to unsafe conditions.

Commuter tenants were then forced for a month to operate in tents placed in the parking lot near the commuter terminal.

The tenants have been transferred to air-conditioned containers converted into of-fices, where they are still temporarily holding offices until now. The tenants include Star Marianas, Arctic Circle Air, Vertical Air, and LSG Sky Chefs.

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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