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Francisco C Ada Saipan Intl Airport

Saipan International Airport
Francisco C. Ada Airport
Airport type Public
Owner Commonwealth Ports Authority
Location Saipan
Elevation AMSL 215 ft / 66 m
Coordinates 15°07′08″N 145°43′46″E / 15.11889°N 145.72944°E / 15.11889; 145.72944
Direction Length Surface
ft m
7/25 8,700 2,652 Asphalt
Statistics (2005)
Aircraft operations 39,542
Based aircraft 22
Source: Federal Aviation Administration

Saipan International Airport (IATA: SPN, ICAO: PGSN, FAA LID: GSN), also known as Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport, is a public airport located on Saipan Island in the United States Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The airport is owned by Commonwealth Ports Authority.

Although most U.S. airports use the same three-letter location identifier for the FAA and IATA, Saipan International Airport is assigned GSN by the FAA and SPN by the IATA (which assigned GSN to Mount Gunson, South Australia, Australia).

Facilities and aircraft

Saipan International Airport covers an area of 734 acres (297 ha) which contains one paved runway (7/25) measuring 8,700 x 200 ft (2,652 x 61 m).

For 12-month period ending December 31, 2005, the airport had 39,542 aircraft operations, an average of 108 per day: 61% air taxi, 19% general aviation, 18% scheduled commercial and 1% military.

Airlines and destinations

Airlines Destinations
Asiana Airlines Busan, Osaka-Kansai, Seoul-Incheon
China Southern Airlines Guangzhou [seasonal]
Continental Connection operated by Cape Air Guam, Rota [seasonal]
Delta Air Lines Nagoya-Centrair, Tokyo-Narita
Freedom Air Guam, Rota, Tinian
Shanghai Airlines Shanghai-Pudong [seasonal]


Today's Saipan International Airport was a prewar airfield on Saipan that was originally constructed by Japanese forces in 1934 and named Aslito Field.

World War II

Isley Field, Saipan, 1945
Isley Field, Saipan, 1945

The Imperial Japanese Navy Air Service (IJNAS) assigned two squadrons of Mitsubishi A6MT Zeros to the airfield in mid-June 1944. These squadrons took part in their defense of the Mariana Islands during the Battle of the Philippine Sea later that month, being almost wiped out by the American forces during the battle.

The airfield was seized by the United States Army 27th Infantry Division on the night on June 16–17, 1944 during the Battle of Saipan. During the battle, a Zero from Guam actually landed at Aslito Airfield, the pilot being unaware that the field had fallen to the Americans. As it landed it was fired upon and it crashed at the end of the runway. The pilot survived and the plane was captured. The field was renamed Isley Field after United States Navy Commander Robert H. Isley who was killed on June 13, 1944, while strafing the base.

Once in American hands, Isley Field was expanded considerably to support Twentieth Air Force B-29 Superfortress operations. The XXI Bomber Command had been assigned the overall responsibility of the B-29 operations out of the Marianas bases, and Isley Field was to be used by the 73rd Bombardment Wing (which consisted of the 497th, 498th, 499th, and 500th Bombardment Groups).

The first B-29 arrived on Saipan on October 12, 1944, and by November 22, over 100 B-29s were at Isley. The XXI Bomber Command was assigned the task of destroying the aircraft industry of Japan in a series of high-altitude, daylight precision attacks.

After several months of disappointing high level bombing attacks from Isley (and the other Twentieth Air Force airfields on Guam and Tinian), General Curtiss LeMay, Commander of Twentieth Air Force issued a new directive that the high-altitude, daylight attacks be phased out and replaced by low-altitude, high-intensity incendiary raids at nighttime, being followed up with high explosive bombs once the targets were set ablaze. These nighttime attacks on Japan proved devastatingly effective, and the Superfortress missions from Isley Field led to massive destruction of industrial targets in Japan, with large industrial areas of Tokyo, Nagoya, and Osaka being repeatedly attacked by waves of American bombers flying from the Marianas until the war's end.


With the end of the war the wing's four bomb groups were all returned to the United States, with their B-29s either being flown to Clark Air Base in the Philippines for scrapping, or were flown to storage facilities in Texas or Arizona. The 73d Bomb Wing was reassigned to the United States in December 1945. The airfield was returned to civil control and it reverted back to being called Aslito Field.

In 2005, Japan Airlines suspended its services from Japan to SPN. Routes to Osaka and Nagoya were taken over by Northwest Airlines. The airport was also renamed after former Lt. Gov. Francisco C. Ada that year.

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General Info
Country Northern Mariana Islands
Time UTC+10
Latitude 15.119003
15° 07' 08.41" N
Longitude 145.729356
145° 43' 45.68" E
Elevation 215 feet
66 meters
Type Civil
Magnetic Variation 001° E (01/06)
Beacon Yes
Near City Obyan
Island Group Saipan I
International Clearance Status - Airport of Entry
- Landing Rights Airport

TWR 125.7
GND 121.8
ATIS 127.2
Communications Remarks
CNTR (118.4 290.5 APP DEP svc)

ID Dimensions Surface PCN ILS
07/25 8700 x 200 feet
2652 x 61 meters

Type ID Name Channel Freq Distance From Field Bearing From Navaid
NDB SN SAIPAN - 312 1.2 NM 066.6

Fuel Jet A1+, Jet A1 with icing inhibitor.

100/130 octane gasoline, leaded, MIL-L-5572F (GREEN)

100/130 MIL Spec, low lead, aviation gasoline (BLUE)

CSTMS/AG/IMG CSTMS/AG/IMG-CSTMS, IMG avbl dur sked opr; OT PPR must be made with Chief IMG, Saipan, C670-664-3131/32.
FUEL A1+ (NC-100, 100LL)
MISC Rwy grooved. Clsd to unsked acft with more than 30 PAX seats exc PPR call or write Arpt Mgr, P.O. Box 501055, Saipan, MP 96950; C670-664-3500/01/02, C670-287-4376 (cell). Wx.
RSTD PPR fr Executive Drct, Commonwealth Ports Auth, Saipan. Call C670-664-3500/01/022130-0630Z Mon-Fri, OT call C670-288-5568/69.
TFC PAT Rwy 07 rgt tfc. For large and turbine pwr acft-1485' AGL, small acft-985' AGL.

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