1 Dec 2011

CNMI offers Tinian as divert airfield for US Air Force

3:04 pm on 1 December 2011

The Northern Marianas governor has recommended the use of Tinian as an alternative site for an airfield to allow increased contingency operations, humanitarian assistance, and exercise capabilities for the U.S. Air Force.

Benigno Fitial cited six distinct advantages that Tinian offers, including the airport's two point four kilometre distance from the closest residential development so noise issues shouldn't be a concern.

He also says the Tinian port has a deepwater harbour, is close to the airport, and is under utilized.

The governor also says all lands in question are already public lands so it will not require purchase of any private lands.

He added that the island's existing runways can easily be expanded.

Governor Fitial says over 95 percent of the people living on Tinian welcome the initiative and will be extremely supportive.

The US Air Force needs a divert airfield so it can support emergency divert requirements, military training and exercises, and humanitarian relief operations within a reasonable distance to Anderson airforce base in Guam, and the Philippine Sea.