Saipan airport now 70 pct. recovered


Commonwealth Ports Authority executive director Christopher S. Tenorio gestures as he discusses during the CPA board meeting Friday their recovery efforts at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport after Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation. (Ferdie De La Torre)

Yutu devastation cost CPA $2.6M so far;

CPA gets $5M in property insurance, $10M more forthcoming

The Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport is now 70 percent recovered from Super Typhoon Yutu’s devastation but the restoration efforts resulted in the Commonwealth Ports Authority spending $2.6 million so far to address some of the damage to its infrastructure.

CPA executive director Christopher S. Tenorio discussed all typhoon-related issues at the Saipan airport during last Friday’s board meeting.

Tenorio also disclosed that the insurance company has given CPA $5 million in property insurance to start addressing its damaged properties and that an additional $10 million is forthcoming.

In a separate interview, Tenorio stated that the airport is now 70 percent recovered from Yutu, although they still have issues such as the passenger loading bridges.

Tenorio said the loading bridges is one of the most critical issue.

“It’s a long process,” he said, noting that all six loading bridges were damaged.

Before Yutu hit Saipan and Tinian last Oct. 24 and 25, CPA had already started the process of replacing the three loading bridges, with funding from the Federal Aviation Administration.

All six loading bridges were then damaged after the typhoon.

With the purchase of three loading bridges already funded by Federal Aviation Administration, CPA will have to foot the bill for the other three, Tenorio said.

Of the six new bridges, Tenorio said, three will be arriving this October and the anticipated completion of the remaining three is June 2020.

The remaining three are now in the design phase and will be procured using insurance proceeds, Tenorio said.

He said that CPA has already spent $2.6 million on Yutu recovery.

Tenorio said the air-conditioning units, windows, glasses, and minor damages at the airport had already been addressed and that the funding for those were part of CPA’s $2.6 million expenses.

On the insurance matter, he said CPA is still waiting for the final damage estimate.

“We have the $5 million now. This is for property insurance. The insurance company gave us the $5 million to start rebuilding,” he said, adding that an additional $10 million from the insurance company is forthcoming.

Tenorio said they are just waiting for their insurance to provide them with its assessments because they already have their own assessments from a private engineering firm.

“We are just waiting for the insurance’s estimate so that we can compare both,” he said.

As for any reimbursement from the Federal Emergency Management Office, Tenorio said they don’t know yet if they will get that.

He said CPA is still working with FEMA by providing it with all the documents for reimbursement of payouts to vendors and staff and CPA is just waiting for FEMA’s response.

“We are still doing assessments and everything,” Tenorio added.

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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