Delta flight makes emergency landing


A Delta Air Lines aircraft carrying over 100 passengers from Japan and was bound for Saipan reportedly had a mechanical issue yesterday afternoon, but safely landed at the Francisco C. Ada/ Saipan International Airport.

The plane made an emergency call at the Commonwealth Ports Authority to inform it about the issue as it neared Saipan but managed to land normally and pull up to its gate.

Passengers exited the plane as planned and no emergency exits were required, according to DPS spokesperson Jacqueline Rae Shepard.

Emergency vehicles and personnel were, however, on standby at the airport. That included personnel from CPA’s Aircraft Rescue Firefighting, Department of Fire and Emergency Medical Services, Department of Public Safety, and Homeland Security and Emergency Management.

Shepard said the plane’s pilot had reported a change in cabin pressure so ports police and DFEMS had to prepare. There was no immediate word on what caused the change in cabin pressure.

DFEMS Commissioner Claudio K. Norita said that DFEMS received an alert from ARFF at 1:40pm about an inbound aircraft declaring an emergency. DFEMS deployed all available trucks, ambulance, rescue vehicles and personnel to the staging area of the airport.

Norita said the airplane landed without incident and no injuries were reported.

“We activated our personnel…then we deployed to the staging area to stand by what ARFF might need in assistance from us,” Norita said.

Norita said from DFEMS was there to assist the ARFF and CPA.

Norita activated the DFEMS personnel at 1:57pm, shortly after receiving an Alert 2 from ARFF. An Alert 2 basically means an aircraft emergency that is still in the air.

Norita said the emergency was not classified until they got to the airport.

All DFEMS personnel on duty, except those assigned in Kagman, were deployed at the airport, along with an ambulance and three backup units.

As of press time, CPA and Delta had yet to issue a statement about the incident.

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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