The Marianas Visitors Authority is urging the Commonwealth Ports Authority to do its share in making tourist arriving and departing the CNMI would remember their stay here. The MVA has expressed concern on the status of the CNMI’s airports since this is the first and last thing that the visitors will see.
MVA managing director Chris Concepcion said they have been doing their part to improve the experience and stay of visitors in the CNMI but CPA should also pitch in. “The MVA is mandated to market our destination as a unique paradise in the middle of the Pacific.”
“So we need to ensure their expectations are met immediately upon arrival, during their stay here and at the end of their trip when they depart the CNMI. The responsibility of ensuring our airports are adequately maintained lies with the CPA as they own the airports,” said Concepcion.
He added that the CNMI airports, especially the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, are the first and last thing tourists see when they arrive and leave the CNMI. The Tinian and Rota Airports and all seaports are also under CPA.
“The airports on Saipan, Tinian, and Rota are the first and last impression our visitors get when coming to and leaving the CNMI,” said Concepcion, whose agency is expecting a further increase of tourist arrivals in the CNMI due to the planned additional non-stop flights to Saipan.
The Saipan International Airport, however, is in pretty bad shape as evident in the past few weeks and this is a major concern to the MVA. “The MVA is extremely concerned with the situation unfolding at the Saipan International Airport.”
Early this month, the lights at runway 7/25, the Saipan airport’s main landing strip, was not functioning at full capacity causing delays or cancellation of flights, while last week the conveyor belt broke down forcing airport personnel to manually bring bags and luggage off the plane.
Concepcion said these and a lot more are the issues facing CPA right now and they are hopeful that they would act on it immediately. “We strongly urge our partners at the CPA to act quickly to fix the many major issues that are confronting them right now.”
He added that CPA should also act on the lack of check-in counter space for new airlines, the malfunctioning air-conditioner system, the terrible parking situation, and the overall upkeep and maintenance of the Saipan International Airport.
Concepcion has called on the current CPA leadership to find solutions on the Saipan International Airport’s numerous problems. “The seeming lack of urgency on their part is alarming.”
“The MVA will continue to offer our support wherever possible but we need to see some action now. We are hopeful our partners at the CPA are able to move forward quickly with some much needed improvements.”