CNMI's Tinian preference for divert airfield

2:46 pm on 12 February 2016

The Northern Marianas has achieved a victory of sorts this week with the US Department of Defense choosing Tinian as its preference for a divert airfield.

Unai Dankulo beach on the east side of Tinian Island

Tinian Island Photo: Kajikawa Yosiaki

The divert plan is needed by the military in the event Anderson Air Force Base on Guam is rendered inoperable due to attack or natural calamity.

Its selection of Tinian, where the largest US air base during World War II was built, comes just two months after the CNMI governor Ralph Torres called on the Air Force to drop plans for the divert field on Saipan.

He said then that the military's repeated push to acquire more land on Saipan ran counter to the legal foundation of the CNMI's relationship with the US.

The US already leases two-thirds of the land on Tinian and the entire island of Farallon De Medinilla for defence purposes.