The Saipan International Airport was officially named after former Lt. Gov. Francisco C. Ada in a dedication ceremony yesterday.
The renaming of the airport to “Francisco C. Ada/Saipan International Airport” was conducted pursuant to Saipan Local Law 13-10, signed by Gov. Juan N. Babauta on Oct. 14, 2002.
Ada, who came to the ceremony with his family, said he was “appreciative of the fact that responsible officials recognize my contributions.”
“But the name was secondary to what the effort stands for, which is working together with the federal government [to achieve our goals],” the 70-year-old former official was quick to add.
Ada also said he was generally satisfied by how the airport had turned out to be, although he expressed a little regret that security problems should require the enclosure of the airport. “We need a good flow of air at the airport,” he said.
Governor Babauta led the ceremony, which was attended by members of the Commonwealth Ports Authority board of directors, CPA executive director Carlos Salas, Retirement Fund administrator Karl T. Reyes, Commerce Secretary Andrew Salas, and numerous other officials.
As a district administrator in the early 1970s, Ada was instrumental in developing the Saipan International Airport by taking advantage of grants made available by the National Airport Airways Development Act and heeding the advice of a nationally ranked airport consultant for modern terminal facilities.
Ada also spearheaded the formation of an airline technical committee that fostered partnership between the government and the private sector for the purpose of assisting the construction of a new airport.
Further, Ada had the foresight to establish Mariana Islands Airport Authority, a self-sustaining agency that later became the Commonwealth Ports Authority.