24 Oct 2017
- By Cherrie Anne E. Villahermosa – [email protected] – Variety News Staff
COMMONWEALTH Ports Authority board member Barrie Toves said all Automated Passport Control or APC machines installed at the Saipan airport are working and operational.
During a meeting on Monday, the Marianas Visitors Authority board members discussed a report that the APCs were down for a couple of days.
Toves said the machines were never down, but U.S. Customs and Border Protection put an “out of order” sign on some of the APCs.
“They are not really out of order, but the reason for putting the signs on the machines is to prevent the passengers during day-time or afternoon from using the machines. The reason why [CBP] doesn’t want the passengers to use the machines is because they [CBP] don’t have extra personnel right now to assist the passengers who want to use the APCs. We do have personnel assisting passengers at night so we don’t have a problem with that. It’s only for the afternoon flights that we don’t have extra personnel.”
Toves said there are no long lines of newly arrived passengers in the afternoon.
“The bulk of passengers and the complaints regarding long lines happen at night time or early morning and not in the afternoon, so processing passengers in the afternoon is not that long and complicated,” he added.
There are only two flights scheduled in the afternoon, he said.
At night time, he said the APCs help ease the long lines of passengers, and this is why they intend to acquire seven to 10 more machines.
Toves said they will ask the governor’s office and other partner agencies to help identify funding for the purchase of new APCs.
Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/99519-cpa-official-explains-out-of-order-signs-posted-on-fully-functioning-passport-machines