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Bill seeks to pave the way for more duty-free concessions at Guam airport


Tourists walk around the duty-free shop section at the Guam international airport terminal. Photo by Mar-Vic Cagurangan

By Pacific Island Times News Staff

A Republican senator is proposing to authorize the A.B. Won Pat International Airport Authority to create its own rules for entering into duty-free concessions at the airport terminal to iron out a legal conflict and, at the same time, allow the airport to expand revenue opportunities.

Under the current statute, the Guam airport is covered by General Services Agency rules and regulations.

Sen. Jesse Lujan noted, however, that GSA rules and regulations apply to government fund expenditures. Concession agreements, on the other hand, "inherently aim to generate airport revenue, creating a conflict in law," he added.

Lujan introduced Bill 319-37, which would authorize GIAA to promulgate rules and regulations related to competitive solicitation, selection and award of concessions.

“The Guam airport is so vital to our island’s continuing economic recovery and this legislation provides it an opportunity to improve and expand the services being provided to our people and visitors and to increase its revenue potential. at the same time,” Lujan said.  


The current statute requires that only the invitation for bid process can be utilized to solicit, select and award concession agreements. This means the concession award is based on the bidder's financial offer, "rather than considering experience, capability, customer service, capital investment, conceptual design, or other factors important in determining the best concessionaire." These specifications can be required through the request for proposal process, according to Lujan's office.

The bill would provide the GIAA with another option for solicitation methods depending on the type of concession. 


“Clearing the path for our only commercial service airport to solicit, select, and award concession agreements not only makes good business sense, but also makes sense,” Lujan said.


With the completion of the international arrivals corridor, the Guam airport was able to take down the gray dividers in favor of a more open departures terminal, opening up the opportunity for improved and expanded concession service offerings throughout the entire concourse.


“We all know that improving the passenger experience is key to ensuring that our visitors and people arrive and depart this island with the best possible impression and positive feeling,” Lujan said.

The legislation received bipartisan support and is co-sponsored by Vice Speaker Tina Rose Muña Barnes, and Sens. Dwayne T.D. San Nicolas, Frank Blas, Jr., William A. Parkinson, Joe S. San Agustin, Thomas J. Fisher and Roy A.B. Quinata.

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