Nepal have announced plans to name an airport after Sir Edmund Hillary and his climbing partner, Tenzing Norgay. Lukla airport will become Tenzing-Hillary airport.
It is a common tradition worldwide to name an airport after a local hero. Here is a list of some of the best airport names in the world.
- Liverpool John Lennon Airport.
An obvious choice for Liverpool, though Paul probably thought he should get the honour. A small consolation prize to John for being the first Beatle to die.
- George Best Belfast City Airport.
A name that wouldn’t mean much in the US, but in the rest of the world where football is followed he is known as one of the greats of the game. He was also one of the worlds first celebrity footballers. A man’s man, he was just as well known for his off-field antics as a hard drinking playboy.
- Robin Hood Airport Doncaster/Sheffield.
This airport name raised controversy as Robin Hood is more often associated with Nottingham. It turns out that Robin Hood was not from Nottinghamshire but from South Yorkshire. Nottingham is served by the prosaically named East Midlands Airport.
Why is Italy shaped like a boot? Because there is too much stuff to fit in a shoe. It is also overflowing with famous people to name airports after. The best Italian airport names:
- Rimini Federico Fellini International Airport
- Rome Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport
- Venice Marco Polo International Airport
- Genoa Cristoforo Colombo Airport
- Pisa Galileo Galilei Airport
- Saint-Exupéry International Airport Lyon France
Saint-Exupéry was best known for his childrens book The Little Prince. He was also, appropriately, an Aviator.
- Tirana International Airport Mother Teresa Albania
Mother Teresa was Albanian. Who knew? I don’t think I ever stopped to think about where Mother Teresa was from.
- Franz Josef Strauss International Airport Munich Germany
- Alexander the Great Airport Kavala Greece
- Krakow John Paul II International Airport Poland
- Warsaw Frederic Chopin Airport Poland
- WA Mozart Salzburg Airport Austria
- Malaga Airport Spain
Half points to Malaga for their terminal named after Pablo Picasso (terminal 2).
In the USA they love to name things after Presidents, including airports:
- Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport VA
- Houston George Bush Airport TX
- Abraham Lincoln Capital Airport Springfield IL
- Gerald R. Ford International Airport Grand Rapids MI
Kennedy has two airports named after him:
- John F Kennedy International (JFK) New York NY
- John F. Kennedy Memorial Airport Ashland WI
The US also has an interesting selection of airports named after entertainers:
- Bob Hope Airport Burbank CA
- John Wayne Airport Orange County CA
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport LA
- Indiana County-Jimmy Stewart Airport Indiana PA
- Will Rogers World Airport Oklahoma City OK
Airport Name Suggestions
Australia is lacking in good airport names. While Sydney’s Kingsford Smith Airport is fittingly named after a pioneering aviator (who was actually from Brisbane), the rest of Australia’s airports aren’t doing their job to showcase Australia’s favourite sons and daughters. Perhaps Brisbane could get the ball rolling with Steve Irvin Brisbane International Airport.
In Europe Belgium is often mocked for not having any famous people. Brussels is home to Herge, who created one of the worlds most famous cartoon characters – Tintin. Brussels International could become Tintin International, which would be appropriate as he was always trotting around the globe.
America has a good selection of airport names but there are some glaring omissions. Can you believe Memphis International Airport is not named Elvis Presley Memphis International Airport. It would thus become Elvis International for short, a name that rolls off the tongue as smoothly as New York’s JFK. And like JFK everyone would know where Elvis International is without having to mention the city name. The only problem might be that Tupelo Regional Airport might have something to say about the name, seeing Elvis was born in Tupelo.
Most people know that Jim Morrison lived in LA and died in Paris, but did you know he was born in Melbourne Florida. A great opportunity for their no name airport.
Seattle has a small airport named after Boeing – Boeing Field – and it would be wrong not to. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport remains nameless. I propose Jimi Hendrix International Airport.
LAX Los Angeles International has no name. Perhaps they have too many names to choose from. Do you have a suggestion for a name for LAX, or any other airport in the world?