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By Moneth G. Deposa

SAIPAN, CNMI (Marianas Variety, Jan. 3) – Space Japan Co. Ltd wants to build an aviation school on Rota after making an on-site inspection last month.

Masanori Tacoe, the company president, met recently with Commonwealth Ports Authority board member Melchor S. Mendiola and Rota airport manager Thomas A. Manglona.

In his letter to CPA on Dec. 12, Tacoe said that "we officially present to CPA our desire to built and operate a hanger facility for helicopter and aircraft services."

He said their prior visits to Rota gave them the opportunity to physically inspect the intended area for the project.

"We understand that CPA has a desired design for such a facility. So that we can expedite matters to our convenience, we hope that CPA could provide a copy for our review," he added.

According to Manglona, Tacoe’s group visited the island thrice last month.

"They are very interested to pursue this plan," he said during CPA’s board meeting on Dec. 28.

Tacoe said Rota Mayor Joseph S. Inos and the island’s legislative delegation have also informed about the company’s proposed project.

CPA Executive Director Clyde K. Norita said Space Japan has already hired local representatives from Rota.

"They want to build an aviation school on Rota. Asian pilots will come here to train and study because they see this as far less expensive than going to the mainland U.S. to attend pilot training," Norita said.

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