The Centre is considering to put in place a policy on naming of new airports in the country, under which they will known after the city’s name and not certain personalities or icons amid the on-going controversy over naming of the new Chandigarh airport.
The Civil Aviation Ministry keeps getting requests from different political parties to name/rechristen airports after certain icons and personalities, more particularly after the change of regime at the Centre or in states and a firm and long-term policy in this regard is needed to put an end to the practice, sources said.
“The Government is discussing the issue of naming of new airports and may put in place a policy soon in this regard,” Civil Aviation Ministry sources said on Thursday.
Under the proposed policy, airports will be known by the name of the city and not individuals, they said adding, “whatever mechanism will be put in this regard will be for long-term.”
The developments come in the backdrop of Haryana and Punjab Government locking horns over the naming of Chandigarh International airport, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year.
While Haryana’s BJP government reportedly wants the airport to be named after one of the RSS pracharak Mangal Sein, the Badal Government wants it to be named after martyr Bhagat Singh.
At the same time, Kerala chief minister Oommen Chandy has recently said that his government was considering naming the International Airport at Nedumbassry in Kochi after K Karunakaran, who was a Congress leader and former Chief Minister.
The Civil Aviation Ministry had last year, received request from various quarters to change the names of airports such as Delhi, Udaipur, Chennai and Srinagar, among others.
One of the proposals from a BJP office-bearer was to rename the IGIA after Mahatma Gandhi.
At that time Minister of State for Civil Aviation Mahesh Sharma had said that Government was not considering changing the name of any of the airports in the country including the Indira Gandhi International Airport while acknowledging that it (the ministry) had received some proposals in this regard.
“It (changing names of some of the airports in the country) is not under our consideration,” he had said.