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Airport in St. Louis likely will get a new name; FAA approval still needed

Airport in St. Louis likely will get a new name; FAA approval still needed

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A new name for the airport is a step closer to becoming official — come January, it’s expected that we’ll be flying in and out of St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

The St. Louis Board of Aldermen approved the name change on Oct. 14, and Mayor Francis Slay signed the bill late Tuesday that renames what’s now Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. Such approvals were needed to swap Lambert and St. Louis in the airport’s name.

A recent study found that the airport’s name should emphasize St. Louis, because the airport is marketing itself nationally and internationally for passenger, cargo and other business, and that St. Louis should be the primary focus to give global audiences an instant geographic marker for the region.

Slay said Wednesday in a statement that the new name emphasizes the important link between the city and airport, and better markets St. Louis to regional, national and international visitors “while maintaining a connection to our rich aviation past.”

Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, the airport’s director, said the airport is beginning the formal process to submit the name change to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The airport has been Lambert-St. Louis International Airport since 1971. It is named for Albert Bond Lambert, an aviation pioneer whose list of accomplishments includes getting St. Louis to host the 1923 International Air Races, an event that brought Charles Lindbergh here.

Look Back 150125

Maj. Albert Bond Lambert, early aviation leader in St. Louis and namesake of Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. (Post-Dispatch)

Lambert was one of Lindbergh’s first financial backers for his nonstop flight from New York to Paris in 1927.

Without Lambert, who sold his land at a discount to the city, the airport wouldn’t be where it is today.

In August, airport leaders suggested changing the airport’s name to St. Louis International Airport at Lambert Field.

That proposal met with opposition from Lambert descendants and others who didn’t want the Lambert name moved to the end of the airport’s name.

Portrait of great-grandchildren of Albert Bond Lambert, airport's namesake

Lea Bender, 54, of Ladue, and her brother, George Diederich, 49, of University City, great-grandchildren of the St. Louis airport's namesake, Albert Bond Lambert, pose for a portrait at Bender's home on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2016. Photo by Cristina M. Fletes, cfletes@post-dispatch.com

So last month, the airport commission opted to keep the Lambert name closer to the front — hence, St. Louis Lambert International Airport.

Hamm-Niebruegge has said costs associated with the name change would be absorbed into its ongoing operational budget and that airport employees could phase in some of the changes, such as re-doing signs.

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