The Bombay high court on Friday ordered the civil aviation ministry to finalise its policy on naming of airports. “There’s a fresh cabinet reshuffle now. Let this be the first thing to be done by the new aviation minister. The draft policy of 2017 shouldn’t be at draft stage," the bench said.
Jyotiraditya Scindia has been appointed as the new civil aviation minister, while his predecessor Hardeep Puri will now head Urban Development and Petroleum Ministry. Scindia took charge on Friday after PM Modi’s council of ministers went through a major overhaul, with 36 new appointments and seven promotions.
According to reports, in 2017, the government was considering a proposal to rename existing airports as well as future greenfield airports after cities and not personalities. The reason cited for the move was the perceived inconvenience caused to passengers and foreign tourists who may not be familiar with Indian personalities.
On May 3, 2016, the BJP-led government had said in the Rajya Sabha that considering the convenience of the passengers in general and especially foreign tourists who are not familiar with the local history of the area, a view has emerged to name the airports by the name of the city in which they are located/served and the terminals of the airports after eminent personalities.
Six airports have been renamed in over 10 years. Five of them have been renamed after personalities. In the case of the sixth one, the government decided to insert the word ‘Maharaj’ to the existing Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport in Mumbai. Of these six amendments, two were done by the present Narendra Modi government and four had been done by the previous Manmohan Singh government.