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Last updateThu, 19 Sep 2019 12am







    Wednesday, September 18, 2019-5:29:37A.M.






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US consultant: Saipan airport runway ‘in good condition’

A U.S.-BASED consultant contracted by GPPC Inc. has determined that the pavement of Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport’s runway “is in good condition” and has a life expectancy of 20 years from 2013.

On Nov. 12, 2015, GPPC Inc. hired Seattle-based Pavement Consultants Inc. to assess the runway asphalt concrete overlay surface at the airport.

The consultant’s overall conclusion, based on a site visit and document review, is that “the runway is safe and sound for aircraft operations and should last 20 years.”

In Dec. 2018, GPPC requested the consultant to perform a detailed assessment of the entire runway survey condition using the standardized pavement condition index methodology.

GPPC also requested that the runway surface groove width and depth be measured through the entire runway.

The assessments, according to the evaluation report, were completed in March 2019.

The report stated that “both pavement condition index [or PCI] survey and the groove measurements do not support the need for replacement of the pavement surface in the immediate future.”

“The PCI survey shows that the pavement is in ‘good’ condition and the runway life expectancy is 20 years from the May 2013 date of construction,” the report said.

However, the report added, there is an area that may require maintenance sooner than 20 years. This area should be monitored, report added.

Asked for comment, CPA Board Chairwoman Kimberly King-Hinds said: “The issue of the runway’s condition is a point of contention. It is in the court system and we are in the discovery process as we speak so I can’t comment about it.”

Two years ago, GPPC Inc., through its lawyer Mark B. Hanson, sued CPA’s contractors in connection with claims related to the airport’s rehabilitation project.

GPPC accused CPA’s contractors of contributing to the defects in the design of the airport runway.

The project was funded by the Federal Aviation Administration.