Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'St. Louis' and 'Lambert' Trade Places in New Name for Airport

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

'St. Louis' and 'Lambert' Trade Places in New Name for Airport

Article excerpt

The airport commission unanimously voted Wednesday to recommend the name St. Louis-Lambert International Airport for the city's airport.

Airport officials had considered changing the airport's name to St. Louis International Airport at Lambert Field, but critics including descendants of Albert Bond Lambert opposed the idea of putting the Lambert name at the end.

"This makes everyone happy," said Lea Bender, Lambert's great- granddaughter, of the new name.

Should the city's Board of Estimate and Apportionment and the Board of Aldermen also approve the new name, the title of Lambert- St. Louis International Airport, the airport's moniker since 1971, will eventually disappear.

Keeping the Lambert name continues the honor bequeathed by the city on the civic leader and aviation pioneer whose list of accomplishments includes getting St. Louis to host the 1923 International Air Races, an event that brought Charles Lindbergh here. 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.

But according to an airport study released last month, those outside the St. Louis region don't connect with the historical name Lambert. Few in the region can accurately define Lambert's role in the airport's history either.

Airport leaders hope the new name will better market the region globally and emphasize St. Louis while keeping ties to history. A name that emphasizes St. Louis has the support of business groups including Civic Progress, the Regional Business Council and the St. Louis Regional Chamber.

The airport is looking at ways to better highlight the accomplishments of Lambert, said Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge, the airport director. She also said the 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.

"We will not increase the budget to do this," she said.

She said the airport had spent the last few weeks talking with Lambert relatives including a lunch with Hamm-Niebruegge and Lambert descendants and heard how important it was that Lambert still have a vital position in the airport's name. …

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