‘Tinian airport master plan got priority due to DOD plan’


The Commonwealth Ports Authority has put the master plan for Tinian International Airport ahead of a priority lineup due to the requirements for CPA’s negotiations with the U.S. Department of Defense about its plan to put up on Tinian an alternative landing site—or divert airfield—for the U.S. Air Force.

The master plans for the Tinian International Airport, Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, and Benjamin T. Manglona International Airport on Rota were among the topics discussed at the CPA board meeting last Friday.

CPA board financial affairs committee chair Kimberlyn King-Hinds said after the board meeting that work has begun for all the airport master plans for Saipan, Tinian, and Rota.

King-Hinds said part of the requirements for the divert negotiations is that CPA submits its own airport layout plan to the Federal Aviation Administration, which reflects “their footprints as well as the community needs or plans for growth at the Tinian airport.”

The Air Force’s proposed divert airfield will form part of CPA’s own airport layout plan to be submitted to FAA for review and approval.

“It has been the board’s position that whatever footprints we have at the Tinian airport has to be community-driven, that anticipates economic growth, economic development,” said King-Hinds, who is a Tinian lawyer.

She said they held off completing the airport layout plan until they give the community an opportunity to comment on the proposed plan.

King-Hinds said the Tinian airport layout plan is likely to be approved and that CPA will be holding a formal presentation of the plan to the committee this month.

CPA board airport operations committee chair Barrie C. Toves disclosed over the weekend that CPA is looking at the end of this month to finally decide on the proposed divert airfield.

Toves said they are going to finalize their decision on Oct. 29 during a committee meeting. He said that the following day, Oct. 30, they will hold a board meeting on Tinian where they are going to disclose to the public whether they approve or not the Air Force’s divert airfield’s plan.

King-Hinds said the community should expect a series of public hearings.

“Everybody’s concern is basically about the master concession,” said King-Hinds.

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 ferdie_delatorre@Saipantribune.com

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