Lonely Planet Writer

India may change the names of its airports to make things easier for travellers

If you’ve travelled to India, you may have noticed that many of its airports are named after its historical figures or politicians, but that may be about to change. The Indian government is currently considering a proposal to rename existing airports and future ones after their respective cities.

Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Image: www.newdelhiairport.in
Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Image: www.newdelhiairport.in

The proposal aims to make things more convenient for foreign tourists and passengers who might not be familiar with Indian personalities, union minister for civil aviation, Jayant Sinha, told the Indian Express. The Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi and Rajiv Gandhi International Airport in Hyderabad are named after former prime ministers, for example.

Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Image: www.newdelhiairport.in
Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi. Image: www.newdelhiairport.in

The Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai gets its name from the 16th Century ruler of the Maratha empire. Similarly, the Kempegowda International Airport in Bengaluru is named after a chieftain who ruled the city in the same era under the Vijayanagara empire.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Image: CSIA
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Image: CSIA

The Indian government is also considering renaming different terminals at the airports after eminent personalities. A set of policy guidelines in relation to the naming of airports is likely to be finalised after these are cleared by the Union Cabinet. If passed, this policy would help avoid the situation that arose around the naming of Chandigarh international airport, which has come to an impasse.

Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Image: CSIA
Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Image: CSIA

The Punjab and Haryana governments own 24.5% each of this airport, while the remaining 51% equity is held by the state-owned Airports Authority of India. Back in 2009, The Punjab government proposed naming it Shaheed-e-Azam Sardar Bhagat Singh International Airport.

Kempegowda International Airport in India. Image: www.bengaluruairport.com
Kempegowda International Airport in India. Image: www.bengaluruairport.com

The Haryana assembly plumped for Shaheed Bhagat Singh International Airport, and then in 2015, sent a fresh proposal to name it Dr. Mangal Sein International Airport.

Kempegowda International Airport in India. Image: www.bengaluruairport.com
Kempegowda International Airport in India. Image: www.bengaluruairport.com

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