Belfast Telegraph

Sinn Fein battles on in bid to rename Derry airport after Amelia Earhart

By Brendan McDaid

Sinn Fein has confirmed it is to press ahead with a campaign to have Amelia Earhart’s association with Londonderry locked into the name of the city’s airport.

The party said it was undeterred despite a motion brought before Derry City Council two months ago being shot down by their colleagues from all other parties.

American aviator Ms Earhart landed in Derry 80 years ago this week, and in doing so became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic.

Derry has just celebrated its largest ever Amelia Earhart Festival with concerts, a 1930s style ball, the premiere of new film footage of Earhart in Derry and a fly-over by vintage planes.

Derry City Council’s shock decision in March not to change the name of the airport was, at the time, branded “staggeringly stupid”.

Sinn Fein councillor Elisha McCallion said that as a result of a public outcry, her party will now press ahead with efforts to have the airport renamed Amelia Earhart City of Derry Airport.

She said her party would not be deflected by the SDLP along with the unionists parties blocking their motion.

“The rationale behind the recent Sinn Fein motion to rename 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.

“Over the next number of weeks we will be meeting with key stakeholders in the city to outline what our party sees as the benefits for Derry and the North West region in renaming the airport.”

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