THIS week the Guam International Airport Authority will begin celebrating Airport Week along with their 36th anniversary as an autonomous government organization. Guam’s civilian air transportation went through a number of changes since the end of World War II, but the creation and authority of the Guam International Airport Authority was a major catalyst in opening Guam’s tourism market and creating this new addition to our economy. I will be proclaiming Jan. 13 through 20 as A.B. Won Pat International Airport Guam Week today in the Cabinet Conference Room at 10:30 a.m. You are all invited to attend.
The airport’s contribution to Guam’s economy cannot be overstated. Since its inception in 1975, the stakeholders of the Guam International Airport Authority have worked tirelessly to expand its appeal to the international travel market. In 2007, the total economic contribution of the airport per year was computed to be $1.7 billion and the airport’s operations were reported to generate 20,440 jobs, representing a total payroll of $628 million. They handled 2.8 million arriving and departing passengers this past year.
Now that the federal government has given us parole authority over the Russian visas, I am confident these figures will be increasing in the future with new visitors from Russia. Parole authority over the Chinese visas is certain to follow shortly. The future for Guam tourism and our A.B. Won Pat International Airport is bright and exciting.
The Guam International Airport Authority, its employees, tenants and service providers have been dynamic members of our community. Their donations and efforts to help the local charities and public and private organizations continually increase and improve each year. The Chamorro spirit of reciprocity continues to thrive at the Airport Authority.
Thank you to all the employees and management of the A.B. Won Pat International Airport and Guam International Airport Authority. Your dedication to your work and your attention to detail continues to help Guam remain a world-class destination for visitors looking for a paradise destination. The airport is like the front door to the house of Guam, and the cleanliness and well-maintained facilities of the airport give our visitors an excellent first impression.