TAG | CNMI
This July, POI Aviation will celebrate its 20th year of operation at the Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport. POI Aviation is the longest operating ground handling company in Saipan, providing a full range of services to air carriers operating flights to the CNMI. POI Aviation is also the only ground handling company on Saipan that is ISO 9001:2008 Certified, having first been certified in 2001.
Amazingly, ten employees (pictured above) will also celebrate 20 year anniversaries with the company. Having been present for the launch of POI back in 1991, these individuals have helped ensure each of our airline customers received first-rate service and a wealth of experience to draw upon. All of the “Golden Service” members had previous airline experience before helping to establish POI as the premier service provider on Saipan.
Larry Aspuria, the maintenance manager, has worked in the airline industry for over 55 years. “Everybody had prior airline experience so there was a lot of comraderie when we started, even though it was a new company and nobody knew each other before that,” Aspuria said. “Everybody understood their jobs. The airline business is like a roller coaster with a lot of ups and downs over the years but we survived, not because we were lucky. We survived because we have dedication and loyalty among our staff. That has helped us.”
Still, there were opportunities to learn some new things, remembers Leo Duenas. “When we started out, we had a lot of specialized employees that had always worked in one or two positions in their departments. One of the first things I tried to do when we started out was to get employees to learn all of the jobs in their department, so everyone could help each other out when we needed it. It wasn’t easy at first. Some people were suddenly outside of their comfort zone and it probably took 6 months until everyone had really learned all of their department’s different jobs. In the end, we had a much more flexible group of people that could handle anything.” That flexibility has become ingrained in the company philosophy as workers constantly rotate duties on a regular basis.
Another distinct advantage for POI has been the consistency of leadership from having General Manager Frank Camacho at the helm since the company’s inception. “The airport, and the airport administration, has changed a lot over the years. Each time the airport administrator changed, it had an effect on the airport operators. And there have been a lot of different airlines that came and went since we started,” Camacho said. Twenty years ago, POI Aviation started out as a challenger in the field. Since then they’ve moved into the position of the largest and most experience ground handling company on the island. It’s taken years of hard work and dedication to service to achieve that goal. However much markets may change, those guiding principles will help ensure POI Aviation is here to stay.
Twenty years ago, POI Aviation started out as a challenger in the field. Since then they’ve moved into the position of the largest and most experience ground handling company on the island. It’s taken years of hard work and dedication to service to achieve that goal. However much markets may change, those guiding principles will help ensure POI Aviation is here to stay.
Below are some photos of POI operations through the years: