WICHITA, Kansas – Wichita’s main commercial airport will soon have a new name.
The Wichita City Council on Tuesday voted 5-2 to change Mid-Continent to the “Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport” at its regular meeting.
It will cost the city about $140,000 to change signs at the airport.
The cost divided city council members.
“I’m one of those that don’t believe we needed to go through the expense of that name change. There were other things that we could have looked at that would still honor Ike,” said Jeff Longwell, Wichita City Council.
Others wondered where the money would actually come from.
“It’s gonna have to come out of CIP in 2015 or 2016, so it is something else is gonna have to be cut out of that for the city’s portion to make up for that,” said Jeff Blubaugh, Wichita City Council.
The CIP pays for large scale projects the city moves forward on including water, sewer, and road improvements, and projects for the police and fire departments.
While an official source for the funds had not been determined, no matter where the money comes from, even residents are concerned about the change.
“I think that kind of says who we are and for the money to change it to Eisenhower, I think we could spend the money in a better way than changing the airport name,” said Janet Fisher, Wichita.
But others say that looking at the bigger picture, it’s an investment, and the cost isn’t as big as it may seem.
“$140,000 is not chump change, but in the larger scale of the budget, it’s not that much,” said Shelia Miles, Wichita.
Council members Jeff Blubaugh and Jeff Longwell were the two votes against the name change.
Lavonta Williams, Pete Meitzner, James Clendenin, Janet Miller, and Mayor Carl Brewer voted for the change.
The next step is for the Wichita Airport Authority to approve the formal resolution authorizing the name change.
Documents would be sent to the FAA requesting that the operating license and navigational records be changed.
It will then be decided if the change will be rolled out incrementally or done at the new terminal grand opening next spring.
Photos: Wichita’s new airport terminal