A plan to rename City of Derry Airport to commemorate aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart is still on the agenda, according to a local councillor.
Sinn Féin councillor Elisha McCallion, who previously tabled a motion to Derry City Council calling for the airport to be rebranded, said she would not be deterred by opposition to the move from the SDLP and unionist parties.
Colr. McCallion renewed her call yesterday on the 80th anniversary of Amelia Earhart’s landing in Derry after completing the first solo flight across the Atlantic by a woman.
Colr. McCallion said the interest in Amelia Earhart’s story shows the strength of the aviation pioneer’s connection to the city.
“I think anyone who has attended events at the Earhart Festival or read the extensive coverage of the Amelia Earhart story in the local newspapers could only have been impressed by the efforts of all those involved in putting together the week long programme of events. I would like to congratulate all those individuals and various groups involved in helping making this happen.
“The rationale behind the recent Sinn Féin motion to rename the City of Derry Airport to the ‘Amelia Earhart City of Derry Airport’ was to maximise the tourism potential by adding an additional dimension to the marketing of the region while the focus of tour operators is on Derry in the run-in to City of Culture 2013,” she said.
The Sinn Féin colr. said a meeting will be held with a number of key stakeholders in the city in the coming weeks to discuss the plans to rename the airport.
“Promoting stronger links with the USA and building on them, be they tourist, historical, educational or business in preparation of City of Culture can only be beneficial. Over the next number of weeks we will be meeting with key stake holders in the city to outline what our party sees as the benefits for Derry and the North West region in renaming the airport. This is too important an issue to be let slip off the agenda.
“It’s important that all those in support of the airport name change make their voices heard. They should not be silenced by the naysayers,” colr. McCallion said.