Airports To be Named After Cities, Not Personalities


New Delhi: The central government may put an end to the practice of naming airports after famous personalities. The move comes in the wake of the controversy over naming of new terminal at Chandigarh airport. The Haryana government has demanded that the airport be named after RSS ideologue Mangal Sein while Punjab Chief Minister demanded it to be named after freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.

Sources said the civil aviation ministry is considering the proposal to stop the practice of naming airports after personalities. A final decision regarding the same is yet to be taken by the ministry and then again the proposal will require cabinet nod.

Politics over naming of airports has a historical precedence in the country when the government wanted to name the Delhi airport after Indira Gandhi and the Mumbai government after Jawaharlal Nehru. The Shiv Sena protested and finally the Mumbai airport was named after Chhatrapati Shivaji. Delhi airport is named Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Last year Hyderabad airport’s domestic terminal was renamed as N T Rama Rao founder of Telugu Desam Party. The Hyderabad airport has been named Rajiv Gandhi airport.

The process of naming an airport is complex. According to norms, the state government where the airport is situated proposes a name to the civil aviation ministry which has to ratify and seek approval for it from the cabinet.. After cabinet approval, the name will be notified in the government gazette and then the ministry informs International Civil Aviation Oraganisation to notify all airlines about the airport’s name. Simultaneously, the Airport Authority of India (AAI) issues a notice to airmen about the name.