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Committee will look at new name for Wichita airport

Committee will look at new name for Wichita airport

By George Lawson. CREATED Nov 5, 2013

Wichita city council members have agreed to create an advisory committee to look at the possibility of renaming Mid-Continent Airport.   The council received petitions last month suggesting that the airport be named after President Dwight D. Eisenhower, to recognize his Kansas roots and his accomplishments.   The petition drive was led by air personalities Jan Harrison and Phil Thompson of Journal Broadcast Station KFXJ, a sister station to KFDI.

The city's director of airports, Victor White, presented a report on the costs involved in a renaming, and he initially quoted a total estimate of $728,000 for three levels of costs related to signage, marketing, logos and other needs.  Most of the costs were for items that could be delayed or items that would be optional.    Council members questioned that figure, and White's report stated that the estimated required expenses to the Airport Authority would be $127,600, and that would be manageable.   White reported a cost of $140,000 from the Kansas Department of Transportation for the renaming of highway signs, but he said that was an estimate that could go up or down.

Council member James Clendenin said the issue for him is about attitude, and he believes a new name for the airport would help the image that the city is going to project to the nation, to the world,  "and really to ourselves."    Clendenin said he still encounters people who have an inferiority complex about their community.  

Council member Janet Miller expressed thanks to the citizens committee that launched the petition drive, and with construction of a new terminal, "this is absolutely the perfect time" to consider a new name for the airport.   

The council voted unanimously to create the committee, and they will appoint members in the next few weeks.  There's no schedule for the committee at this point, and it's not known when the group will have a recommendation for the city council.   The new airport terminal will open in 2015.