Home News and Politics Sensational Buzz: Outrageous Movement to Rename Austin’s Airport After LBJ Gaining Momentum

Sensational Buzz: Outrageous Movement to Rename Austin’s Airport After LBJ Gaining Momentum

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Sensational Buzz: Outrageous Movement to Rename Austin’s Airport After LBJ Gaining Momentum

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport Could Be Renamed After President Lyndon B. Johnson

Photo by Gabriel C. PĂ©rez/KUT

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, located in Austin, Texas, could undergo a name change to honor former President Lyndon B. Johnson. The proposal has been put forward by the LBJ Foundation, a nonprofit organization associated with the LBJ Presidential Library and LBJ School of Public Affairs. Austin Mayor Kirk Watson has shown support for the idea, which was discussed during a meeting with the foundation’s president and CEO, Mark Updegrove. The potential renaming is being considered as part of the celebrations for the 60th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, signed into law by President Johnson.

To make the name change official, City Council approval would be required. While the discussions are still in the early stages, it is worth noting that changing an airport name is an expensive process. An example is McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, which was renamed Harry Reid International Airport in 2021. The cost of changing the signage alone exceeded $7.7 million.

LBJ has a historical connection to Austin-Bergstrom International Airport. In 1999, when the airport was converted from Bergstrom Air Force Base to a civilian facility, the East Runway was named after former Congressman J. J. Pickle, and the West Runway was dedicated to LBJ. The base itself was named after John August Earl Bergstrom, the first Austinite known to have been killed in World War II.

It is important to note that changing the airport name would not impact the airport code, which would remain as AUS. However, changing the airport’s location identifier would require a more complicated process with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The proposal to rename the airport is still in its early stages, and representatives such as U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett and City Council Member Vanessa Fuentes have stated that they were unaware of the proposal. Ultimately, the decision to rename Austin-Bergstrom International Airport rests with the Austin City Council, following a thorough evaluation of the potential costs and community input.

This article was produced in partnership with KUT and as part of the Austin Monitor’s reporting efforts. It is important to note that while the Austin Monitor’s work is supported by community donations, its business and editorial efforts are kept separate to maintain transparency.

Changing an airport name comes with significant costs, but if the proposal is approved, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport could join the ranks of other airports named after political figures.

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