History buffs and frequent travelers know there are U.S. airports named for Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan, Gerald R. Ford, George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton.
Soon, Dwight D. Eisenhower, the nation's 34th president, may have an airport named in his honor, too.
In response to a local petition campaign that gained support from city commissioners in Abilene, Kan., home of the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum and Boyhood home, the Wichita City Council voted last week to change the name of the city's Mid-Continent Airport to the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport.
The resolution moves now to the Wichita Airport Authority, which will vote on the name change in early April.
"We expect it to go through and a formal document sent to the Federal Aviation Administration," said Victor White, executive director of airports at the Wichita Airport Authority.
Once FAA approval is secured, the name change could become effective around March 2015, when a new $200 million terminal and parking project to serve the airport's 1.5 million annual passengers is complete. The airports' identifying code, ICT, would remain the same since IKE already belongs to Ikerasak Heliport in Greenland. "Only a handful of airports are named after former presidents, and this would put us in a unique group," said White. And while "renaming serves the wonderful purpose of recognizing the only president raised in Kansas, it's a lot of work and could end up costing several hundred thousand dollars."
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