Torres hopes to meet with CPA officials


Gov. Ralph DLG Torres is hoping to meet with officials of the Commonwealth Ports Authority to get information on the current status of the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport. Flights were again delayed early Thursday morning due to another malfunctioning runway light.

Outbound flights like Philippine Airlines were delayed by more than three hours. The CPA held a press conference at 12noon yesterday with acting executive director Chris Tenorio informing the public that they are trying their best to remedy the situation.

Torres, speaking to the media in yesterday’s 36th U.S. Coral Reef Task Force Meeting at the Fiesta Resort & Spa’s Hibiscus Hall, said CPA is an autonomous agency able to generate its own revenue and handle its own operational budget.

He added that the problems that continue to plague the airport have also been his administration’s concern. “The status of our airport is all of our concern. Tourists fly in and out from it. All of us won’t be able to generate its revenues if no tourists would come in.”

“It is not only the CPA or the [Marianas Visitors Authority] but the entire government. So it is in the best interest of everyone that this incident would never happen again. I’m going to ask the CPA for an update. I’m going to ask to meet not only the board, but also the acting director.”

Torres said he would like CPA officials to prioritize and expedite the process of having their own technician. “So we don’t have to get one from Guam. We need to have our own technician on board.”

“We must have our own technician to fix these kinds of problems right away. It also gives us the opportunity to get an update on the status of the runway on a daily basis,” added Torres.

A number of equipment at the Saipan airport have malfunctioned in the past two months. The runway lights have bogged down numerous times. In December 2015, for instance, rats were blamed for the problem.

Jon Perez | Reporter
Jon Perez began his writing career as a sports reporter in the Philippines where he has covered local and international events. He became a news writer when he joined media network ABS-CBN. He joined the weekly DAWN, University of the East’s student newspaper, while in college.

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