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Flight instructor sues CPA over $10M insurance requirement

A LONGTIME flight instructor on Saipan is seeking $1 million in damages against the Commonwealth Ports Authority for its “unreasonable” liability insurance requirement.

Hiroaki Nishio, part owner of Saipan Flight Academy, filed the lawsuit in federal court, alleging two counts of negligence. He is demanding a jury trial.

 Nishio, who is representing himself, is asking the court to issue an order awarding him compensatory damages amounting to $1 million, attorney’s fees and court costs.

 He is also asking the court to allow him to proceed with the lawsuit without pre-paying fees or costs.

Nishio said he has been performing flight instruction on Saipan since 1992, and is a resident of the island.

 He told Variety that he can’t afford to hire an attorney to represent him.

 According to his complaint, on or about July 11, 2011, he was required to obtain a $10 million insurance for flight operation by CPA which also prohibited him from operating his business.

 Nishio stated that on March 23, 2013 he filed a formal complaint against CPA with the Federal Aviation Administration’s chief counsel office in Washington, D.C.

 On April 29, 2016, he said, the FAA found that the $10 million aircraft liability insurance requirement was unreasonable, and therefore, “unjustly discriminatory to the complainant’s flight training-only operation.”

 Nishio said on Nov. 23, 2016 Byron Huffman. FAA acting director of airport compliance and management analysis, also determined that CPA was requiring insurance amount that was unreasonable and unjustly discriminatory.

Variety was unable to get a comment from CPA.

Source: Marianas Variety : http://www.mvariety.com/cnmi/cnmi-news/local/103583-flight-instructor-sues-cpa-over-10m-insurance-requirement

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