On May 5 Guam’s airport launched an aggressive media campaign to explain why it wants additional airlines to begin service to Guam. The campaign will also explain the reasons for the airport’s petition to the U.S. Department of Transportation for expanded air services.

Jess Q. Torres executive general manager of the Guam International Airport Authority told the Journal the airport’s board of directors has authorized spending $50 000 for what he called the "educational process."

The campaign will continue throughout May.

He said "We owe this to the people of Guam in explaining through that educational process why we are investing so much money why we are doing what we’re doing what are the timelines and the things we are doing.

"Rightfully the people of this island have a right to know exactly what this airport is doing." He said "We want to be more creative so that in the long run the people in our community will be the recipients of all the actions we take now."

On May 5 people traveling along the airport access road were able to see and hear the airport’s management and staff promoting the petition through a "live radio remote" with FM radio station I-94 and a wave in the airport’s parking lot between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.

The launch will be followed by an extensive print and broadcast media campaign.

Speaking engagements with various civic organizations and media interviews are scheduled. The airport has a strategic media plan for the remainder of May.

Torres said "The people of Guam have invested $300 million into this airport and it’s a crying shame to continue status quo and not try to maximize its potential."

The petition if approved would garner interest from other major air carriers to utilize the airport’s facilities he said.

"It would be greatly beneficial to our airport. It is our hope "¦ once we undertake that activity that it would generate more carriers coming in whether it be national carriers or foreign carriers as long as they’re licensed to operate and as long as they’re in compliance with all regulations that is required of all carriers landing in our territory. Any stopover would be of revenue benefit to our airport and that revenue benefit to our airport would eventually translate in posturing this airport to be very competitive in this part of this world."

He said people may be unaware of the airport’s intent and that education will allow people to understand the airport’s proposal.

"It is incumbent upon us to go through that educational process and try as much as we can to address any and all concerns relative to the undertaking that we are doing and there’s nothing wrong with that. Ultimately we have followed the procedure there is a docket number and you can get that by downloading our Web page www.guamairport.com. We expect a decision [from the Department of Transportation] in the next three months." MBJ