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Getting your own airport

Sydney, Australia
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Getting your own airport

After reading a few posts on here recently I have become aware of a few airports I had not heard of. John Lennon, John Wayne and Bob Hope airports. I always knew of JFK, of course, but is this a common practice around the world to name airports after celebrities?

We have Kingsford Smith airport in Sydney but he was an aviator so it makes sense - he may have also been a celebrity of sorts in his day, I'm not sure.

Will we one day be flying into Justin Bieber Airport?

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Getting your own airport

There are plenty such airports, such as Marco Polo (Venice) and Leonardo da Vinci (Rome). New York also has La Guardia which I think is named after a former mayor. It is probably appropriate to name an airport after Justin Bieber because they both make irritating noises.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 00:17
Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Getting your own airport

Good one Ed.

As long as we don't get a One Direction airport. That would be confusing..

Pacifica, California
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3. Re: Getting your own airport

Weren't they going to name the airport in Birmingham after Ozzie Osbourne? That would be a great name.

The tendency in the USA these days is to name public facilities, including airports, after politicians. Politicians love to honor themselves this way, but it drives the public nuts..

There was a move about a year ago to rename SFO after Harvey Milk, who was the first gay SF Supervisor and possibly the first openly gay politician in the US. It was a blatant attempt by a local SF politician who aspires to higher office to kiss-up to the local gay community, After much public protest, including from the gay community, they quietly decided to name a terminal after him instead. Whether even that actually happens is questionable.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 00:31
Mount Dora, Florida
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for Istanbul
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4. Re: Getting your own airport

Both airports in Istanbul are named after people who made a significant contribution to the people of Turkey. The larger airport is named after Ataturk, the founder of the modern Republic of Turkey and certainly one of the most productive statesmen of his era. The other smaller airport on the Asian side of the city, Sabiha Gokcen, was named after the first female pilot in Turkey. She lived in the 1930's.

I understand naming an airport after a person, but only after they had arrived did we realize that our daughter named our two grandchildren after US east coast airports. We do not think it was intentional, but it is now very funny.

Portland, Oregon
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5. Re: Getting your own airport

George Best (Belfast City), Robin Hood (Doncaster Sheffield), Pope John Paul II (Krakow), Louis Armstrong (New Orleans), Frederic Chopin (Warsaw), etc, etc.

And of course JFK isn't the only airport named after a politician. As far as US presidents go there's also Gerald Ford (Grand Rapids International), Ronald Reagan (Washington National), George Bush (Houston Intercontinental), the latter being named after HW. Many many international airports are named after politicians and heads of state; I'm off to Indira Gandhi International at Delhi in a few days.

Edited: 25 November 2013, 02:02
Sydney, Australia
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6. Re: Getting your own airport

When they name an airport after someone (thinking of George Bush as it seems to be one of the most recent examples) do they rename an existing airport or do they have to wait for a new airport to be built?

7. Re: Getting your own airport

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Portland, Oregon
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8. Re: Getting your own airport

All the airports I mentioned above, including IAH, were existing airports (JFK was originally called Idlewild).

And ATL was previously named just Hartsfield Intrrnational, on opening and they then appended the name Jackson (after mayor Maynard Jackson) quite recently to make it Hartsfield-Jackson International.

But new airports do get named after celebs and politicians and heads of state immediately on opening. The one I know of is Munich, which opened in the 1990s as Franz Josef Strauss International, named after the former prime minister of Bavaria (not a composer).

Edited: 25 November 2013, 02:41
New York City, New...
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9. Re: Getting your own airport

I'm so thankful that Heathrow wasn't renamed Princess Diana International as very nearly happened in the late 1990s.

Portland, Oregon
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10. Re: Getting your own airport

OP2002, I don't think it got anywhere close to "very nearly" but I remember the idea being reported on the BBC and cringeing at the thought. :-)

Heathrow will never change its name. That said, they are naming the new T2 "Terminal Two - The Queen's Terminal" in honor of Elizabeth II, and plan to give the tag line more prominence than they did the "Queen's Building" at the old T2.