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    Saturday, December 7, 2019-4:56:11A.M.






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Around the Islands | US Navy wants to restrict Tinian’s airspace

THE following is an excerpt from this week’s episode of Around the Islands: “US Navy Wants to Restrict Tinian’s Airspace,” in which several members of the Tinian community discuss what restricted airspace could mean for the local culture, economy, and natural resources.

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Kimberly King-Hinds
Edwin Aldan
Frederick Dela Cruz
Juanita Mendiola

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: The memorandum was written by the Secretary of the Navy Spencer and it was a letter to the FAA asking the FAA basically to restrict airspace over Tinian and around Tinian, which is currently not allowed by the FAA rules and regulations given its proximity to a commercial airport, which is the Tinian International Airport.

Mayor Edwin Aldan: That request just kind of made everybody feel uncomfortable. It should have been dealt within the boards and the Governor’s office, and the municipality; there shouldn’t have been just unilaterally sent over as a request without letting us know.

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: It’s not just that area that they’re asking to restrict. It’s areas that kind of overlap over towards the whole channel and to about a mile out, if not longer, on the West side. And so it’s just this huge radius that they want to block off. And so in order for planes to get back and forth from the commuter terminals, they would have to go around these areas when they’re having activities.

Frederick Dela Cruz: If it takes a lot longer to get from Point A to Point B then obviously it’s going to cost the consumer a little bit more money. So that’s a hardship that they’re going to be putting on the people of Tinian.

Juanita Mendiola: It would mean an exorbitant cost to travel interisland. So we’re going to be practically isolated; the cost of goods will go up maybe three- or four-fold.

Kimberlyn King-Hinds: One of our main economic industries is tourism— whatever little that we have left of it — which is based on basically visits to historical and ancestral sites around Tinian. As everybody knows, most of the historical sites are on the North Field. Okay, so now this proposal intends to restrict access.

Mayor Edwin Aldan: You don’t want one of our tourists sitting down on the beach, having a very nice view of the sunset and then the margarita’s shaking. They ask the waiter, “What is that?” And they say, “Oh it’s the bombing up North.” “What bombing? There’s no bombing in the brochure.” Something like that, that’s not what we want. We want to coexist, that’s all we’re asking. But not that type.

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