Congressman Gregorio Kilili Camacho Sablan announced today that the US Department of Transportation is providing the Commonwealth Ports Authority with two grants totaling US$2,536,634. The money will be used to rehabilitate the runway at Saipan’s Francisco C. Ada International Airport and continue terminal building improvements that have been underway for several years.
“This [is] good for business today and good for business tomorrow,” said Sablan. “Another US$2.5 million will help pull us through today’s tough times by putting people to work and by pumping new money into our local economy. But maintaining our air transportation facilities is absolutely essential for [the] economic health of the Commonwealth tomorrow, too.
“Especially when it comes to our main industry, tourism, we are in a highly competitive, global marketplace. If we do not maintain – and constantly improve – our infrastructure and other services here, we will lose customers to other destinations.
“I applaud former executive director Efrain F. Camacho, who worked on these grants, and executive director Edward Deleon Guerrero and his team and the CPA board for their diligence in seeking opportunities to improve conditions at all of our air and sea ports. Congratulations on this award.”
One of the two awards is for US$1,000,000, which will be used to improve the deteriorating condition of runway pavement and to meet current pavement design standards.
The second grant, for US$1,536,634.00, will be used to replace the public address system at the Saipan terminal. Public restrooms will be renovated, and deteriorated portions of the terminal roof that leak and cause potential safety hazard to passengers will be replaced.
The DOT’s Federal Aviation Administration, which provided the funds, classifies Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International as a small-hub primary airport and has determined that the funded projects are all necessary to meet the needs of the flying public and to enhance safety and efficiency of terminal operations. “Primary” airports carry more than 10,000 passengers per year. “Small-hub” facilities account for 0.05 to 0.25 percent of the total US passenger boardings.