The world’s best airport names

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

Venice Marco Polo International 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?

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  1. Coming to think of it, the renaming of airports is often not very practical. Renaming an airport to honor a politician may be a waste of time, as everything political may change priorities in the future.

    Figure how much it must cost internationally to change data in all travel portals, reviews, you name it.

    It’s stupid enough that town names and road names are changed. Often it’s impossible to remember for foreigners. Any long name for an airport is a tongue breaker.

    Imagine, a Jimmy Hendricks airport name to remember in 500 years…Some newcomer musician might be considered to replace it.

    Take Tenerife South and Tenerife North airport. The geographical attributes are far more important than their real names, such as Aeropuerto Reina Sofia (Queen of Spain) or Los Rodeos for the north.

    When you book holidays you need to know exactly on which airport you will land to arrange for the correct transfer online.

    I was surprised that Johannesburg International Jan Smuts airport was renamed after Oliver Tambo, just Tambo Airport. Why didn’t they pick Nelson Mandela for a name? Everybody knows him but not everybody associates Tambo with Johannesburg.

    Capetown is still a no-name airport to the best of my knowledge. It’s simply called Cape Town International airport. This is more practical, as most tourists have heard of Capetown. Some little airport in ZA is called Springbok airport. This is quite funny, but OK. It makes you wonder what the story behind it might be. Do they mean the animal springbok or the Springbok Rugby Team?

  2. Brooket81 says

    I agree

  3. I would totally fly to Jimi Hendrix International.

  4. Percy Delaguardia says

    +1 for Jimi Hendrix International.

  5. anuddafatguy says

    While not named after a person, Phoenix has a good name for an airport … Sky Harbor. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

    There are some Latin American airports named after people that are not mentioned:
    Lima – Jorge Chavez
    Asuncion – Silvio Pettirossi
    Rio de Janeiro – Alberto Santos Dumont (2nd airport in Rio)
    Buenos Aires – Ministro Juan Pistarini
    Santiago – Comodoro Arturo Merino Benítez
    Montevideo – General Cesáreo L. Berisso
    Mexico City – Benito Juárez

    Regarding Australia, Steve Irwin International in Brisbane does make sense, but then it becomes difficult. Maybe Olivia Newton-John International in Melbourne?

  6. Tina hammond says

    Poorly researched. LAX has been Tom Bradley for years. I also think there are several Louis Armstrong airports in the USA…

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