GIAA won’t provide interim facility to Star Marianas

But construction of facility moves forward

Guam International Airport Authority’s interim measures for Star Marianas Airlines’ access to their airport have been dropped recently, but construction on a facility appears to be moving forward.

According to emails exchanged between Star Marianas and GIAA, copies of which were obtained by Saipan Tribune yesterday, the 40-foot container for a temporary Guam Customs processing area was dropped because it was “not cost effective.”

According to the emails, the ready-made containers that GIAA planned to lease did not meet Guam Customs requirements.

GIAA explained that containers needed to be modified on a purchase agreement only and takes several weeks to be modified. This was proven “not cost effective given the time of actual use and the added expense (part of cost recovery).”

As for their construction of a facility, GIAA said a contractor has submitted their bonds and GIAA will be issuing the notice to proceed this week on renovations for facility, which is referred to known as the “Yellow Cargo Bay.”

The emails noted that GIAA would work with the contractor to accomplish the customs processing area first for operational use. Timelines were not given.

The emails reveal that there are two access points in the facility to the apron that require proximity card readers. Star Marianas received their SIDA badges, which allow access to secured areas, taxi runways, loading gates, among others, at the Guam airport. They had requested these as long as two years ago, it was learned.

GIAA notes the facility under construction as the “Light Aircraft Commuter Facility,” explaining that light aircraft is defined 12,500 lbs or less and are exempt from TSA security mandates such as passenger screening.

Last month, Christian and Rota treasurer Frank Atalig said an interim facility would be provided by the end of February. GIAA had proposed to put “a temporary 40-foot air-conditioned container in front” of a previously proposed cargo building to be renovated for their use.

Phase 1 of the proposed plan was to get the 40-foot container up, so there could be an alternative Guam Customs Access point; Phase 2 was to remodel the cargo building so they could have a permanent Customs clearance area; and Phase 3 was to open up a passenger check-in area with a small waiting area for passengers. But these plans appear now to be dropped.

Dennis B. Chan | Reporter
Dennis Chan covers education, environment, utilities, and air and seaport issues in the CNMI. He graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Guam. Contact him at

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