"To develop air and sea navigation to and from the CNMI to its fullest potential."
The Mariana Islands Airport Authority (MIAA) was formed for the group of Western Pacific islands known as the Northern Marianas. MIAA was charged with the responsibility of establishing an airport network throughout the islands, which would make the Northern Marianas accessible to travelers and air carriers throughout the world. First priority was the completion of modern airport facilities on Saipan, the seat of the Northern Marianas Government. No small task, especially considering our humble beginnings at Koblerville Field.
Thanks to the United States Congress and the Federal Aviation Administration, construction on a new runway began two years before MIAA was formed. By December 15, 1975, what was once a jungle covered war landing strip had been converted to a modern runway.
In order to fund the building of the terminal facilities, the Marianas District Government invited firms to bid for the right to an exclusive 15-year contract for duty free concessions. Duty Free Shoppers, Ltd. won the bid and a permanent place in the history of the Saipan International Airport, which officially opened on July 25, 1976.
In June 1977, Continental Airlines was awarded the direct service route between Saipan and Tokyo. Four months later, Japan Airlines joined Continental in opening direct service. Since that time, traffic steadily grew and new routes were added with new airlines and new services.
In 1981, the Commonwealth Ports Authority (CPA) was created by Public Law 2-48 and tasked with managing and operating all the airports and seaports throughout the Northern Marianas. Since its inception, CPA's affairs have been governed by a seven-member Board of Directors appointed by the Governor, with the advice and consent of the Senate of the Commonwealth Legislature. The Board appoints the Executive Director to carry out the goals and objectives of the Authority and to oversee its day-to-day operations and management.
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