Guam News - Guam News
Saipan - CNMI officials were cautioned against taking a “Tinian or nothing” approach on a proposal by the U.S. Air Force to designate Saipan or Tinian as preferred site for an alternate airfield in the event that access to Guam’s Andersen Air Force Base is limited or denied.
The Saipan Tribune reported that Mike Harpla of Matrix Design Group warned that the Air Force might just designate a divert airfield outside the CNMI, resulting in the Commonwealth losing out on over $100 million in minimum investments from the military.
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The Air Force, in a draft EIS, identified Saipan as the “preferred Alternative 1” and Tinian as “preferred Alternative 2” for a divert or contingency airfield for the Air Force.
Many CNMI officials, including Gov. Benigno R. Fitial, prefer that the divert airfield be located on Tinian where two-thirds of the lands are already leased by the U.S. military.
But Fitial and other officials said they welcome having the divert airfield anywhere in the CNMI.
The Air Force will prepare its final EIS between July and October and a decision is expected in December.
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