Legislature, CPA discuss airport charges


The Commonwealth Ports Authority met with both chambers of the Legislature last week to discuss fee concerns on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota. It was a closed-door meeting.

According to Sen. Sixto Igisomar (R-Saipan), the meeting was an overview of the Federal Aviation Administration definition and qualified use of the Passenger Facility Charges, or PFC.

Sen. Justo Quitugua (Ind-Saipan) told Saipan Tribune that CPA proposed a change of fees and that “the study is still being done.”

Quitugua added that CPA did not want to “disseminate the information before the information is finalized.”

“Once the information is finalized, then we are able to bring it out to the public,” he added.

According to Quitugua, CPA consultants assisting in the matter have already submitted their preliminary recommendation to CPA.

“The airlines would also have to look into it and submit their inputs,” he said, adding that the information is subject to change, depending on the airlines’ comments.

“[CPA] is hoping that some of the rates would go down once they meet with the airlines and get their input,” he said.

Although short on specifics, Igisomar, who also chairs the Senate Committee on Public Utilities and Transportation, told Saipan Tribune that the committee would be sending a follow-up letter to CPA on “related matters.”

Igisomar said the letter would ask for the listings or schedules of all CPA revenue sources per island airport, and to expand or elaborate their operating revenues, which include aviation fees, concession leases, and other forms of revenue as well as non-operating revenues, such as the PFC.

Igisomar would also ask for an action plan on the purchase of seven more automated passport control systems for the arrival section; the extension and additional staffing of the Ambassador Program; the request of the Federal Aviation Administration for new flight paths on takeoffs; an assessment or study of noise pollution or noise reductions; and whether or not CPA would be requesting for “some sort of airline incentive” and other available FAA waivers through Congress to support inter-island air travels and flights between the CNMI and Asia, specifically Japan.

Erwin Encinares | Reporter
Erwin Charles Tan Encinares holds a bachelor’s degree from the Chiang Kai Shek College and has covered a wide spectrum of assignments for the Saipan Tribune. Encinares is the paper’s political reporter.

Related Posts

Disclaimer: Comments are moderated. They will not appear immediately or even on the same day. Comments should be related to the topic. Off-topic comments would be deleted. Profanities are not allowed. Comments that are potentially libelous, inflammatory, or slanderous would be deleted.