Center considering proposals to rename nine airports
Nine airports in India might soon have different names, if approved by the civil aviation ministry. The Center is currently looking into the proposals, Civil Aviation Minister Ashok Gajapathi Raju said. Earlier, the Modi government was considering renaming all airports named after historical figures to their geographical location. But contrarily, demands were raised in the Rajya Sabha to rename Madurai Airport after Muthuramalingan Thevar.
Last year, the government had said that it is considering renaming all current and future airports according to the place they are located in. The issue was that foreign travelers had a hard time remembering complicated names like Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport or Kempegowda International Airport. However, the terminals could be named after personalities, sources said.
But naming itself isn't an easy matter. The issue is under the state government, which has to recommend a name. If the resolution passes in the Assembly, it is forwarded to the civil aviation ministry, Raju said.
There have been controversies over naming of different airports in India. Punjab wanted the Chandigarh airport to be renamed Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport, Mohali, while Haryana wanted it to be called Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport, Chandigarh. There were protests by critics after the naming of Kempegowda Airport (Bengaluru), Rajiv Gandhi Airport (Hyderabad), Vir Savarkar Airport (Port Blair) and more.
BJP leader Subramanian Swamy now wants Madurai Airport to be named after Thevar, and alleged he was being ignored because he was close to Netaji. Raju clarified it was up to the state, but as other members persisted, he said enquiries could be made from the state. There were demands for renaming of Chandigarh and Aurangabad airports too in the Rajya Sabha.